A furious patient claims he was forced to wait outside a medical center in a makeshift plastic box after the exercise banned him from entering because he had not been vaccinated against Covid.
A video shared on TikTok showed a plastic tarpaulin and fabric-covered partitions with chairs in between outside the entrance to Fairfield West Medical Center in Sydney’s west.
Fairfield was one of Sydney’s big Covid hotspots at the height of this year’s Delta outbreak.
‘These are the clinics now for the unvaccinated people that I was told on the phone when I made my appointment,’ said the man behind the camera.
‘It’s outside. Very professional. This is the Australian medical system. What a joke, it’s an embarrassment. ‘
The 30-second clip sparked a heated debate on TikTok about how unvaccinated residents were treated as NSW emerges from the lockdown.
Those who have not received both Covid jobs in NSW will be banned from visiting cafes, bars and restaurants until 1 December.
‘Why are the vaccinated afraid of the unvaccinated?’ said a commentator during the video.
Another strangely claimed it was an example of ‘medical apartheid’.
Many social media users, however, thought the idea of an outdoor waiting area resembled ‘a good idea’ and welcomed the center to accommodate unfazed people.
Anti-vaxxers have raged over a video showing an outdoor treatment area at a medical center that they believe was set up to keep unvaccinated people out while vaccinated people were allowed to enter
One woman pointed out the irony of attending a health facility to get medical attention during a pandemic and expecting to be welcomed inside despite not being vaccinated.
‘So you want their help, but you do not want to help them by being vaccinated? That’s why people say you’re selfish. Do not you understand? ‘ she wrote.
NSW Chairman of The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Charlotte Hespe told the Daily Mail Australia that the measure was reasonable and not just for unvaccinated patients.
‘Many practices want patients waiting outdoors in a covered area or their cars,’ said Dr. Hespe.
‘It’s about having safe strategies where people are least likely to infect others if they have covid without knowing it.’
Dr. Hespe said it does not matter about the patient’s vaccination status and that it is about reducing the risk of transmission in medical waiting rooms.
Fairfield West Medical Center. Fairfield was one of Sydney’s major Covid hotspots at the height of the Delta eruption in mid-2021
‘We have taken the view that no matter if you are vaccinated or not -vaccinated, you are still at risk of having covid without knowing it, so therefore it is about protecting everyone,’ she said.
There is currently no policy requesting a general practitioner’s separate vaccinated and non-vaccinated patients, but Dr. Hespe believes that everyone should be treated equally.
‘There is no encouragement to separate patients in terms of access to care,’ she said.
‘I’m aware that there are some individuals who have drawn up policies around it, but their individual response is certainly not a recommendation from the RACGP or the AMA.’
The Daily Mail Australia has contacted Fairfield West Medical Center for comment.