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A family and emergency physician in northeastern Ontario has been barred from issuing exemptions for COVID-19 vaccines, masking requirements and testing as he faces a disciplinary hearing before the province’s medical regulator.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario said Tuesday it imposed the interim restrictions on Dr. Patrick Phillips after he refused to co-operate with its investigation into allegations that he spread misinformation about the pandemic.

Dr. Phillips is also prohibited from prescribing ivermectin – an antiparasitic agent that Health Canada says should not be used for treating COVID-19 – as well as fluvoxamine and atorvastatin in connection with the virus, the regulator said.

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The college alleges that between August 2020 and this month, Dr. Phillips engaged in disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional conduct in his communications regarding the pandemic, including on social media.

It alleges that included making misleading, incorrect or inflammatory statements on COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and public health measures.

The college further alleges Dr. Phillips is “incompetent in relation to his communications” regarding the pandemic.

The regulator’s public records indicate Dr. Phillips’s primary location of practice is the Englehart and District Hospital in Englehart, Ont., about 45 kilometres south of Kirkland Lake.

Dr. Phillips addressed the allegations and restrictions on Twitter.

“Never have I been more proud of myself than the day I decided to take a stand against our country’s medical tyranny,” he wrote Tuesday morning.

“Providing patients and the public access to treatments for COVID-19 and vaccine injuries and protecting them from medical coercion is not something I will regret.”

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The college said Dr. Phillips is the first doctor to be referred to its disciplinary tribunal – and to face interim measures – over allegations of COVID-19 misinformation. A hearing date has not yet been set.

The regulator previously cautioned a pediatrics specialist in Brampton, Ont., over several tweets regarding COVID-19, including one that said vaccination is unnecessary, according to the college’s ruling.

In the document, the college said the caution delivered to Dr. Kulvinder Kaur Gill in February related to “lack of professionalism and failure to exercise caution in her posts on social media, which is irresponsible behaviour for a member of the profession and presents a possible risk to public health.”

That decision is being appealed to the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board and a request for judicial review has also been filed with the Divisional Court, according to the college.

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