Sipho Mabena
Premium Journalist
4 minute read
10 Sep 2021
3:19 pm

Doctor refusing to see unvaccinated patients risks facing ethics charge

Sipho Mabena

Machiri’s approach does not sit well with all his peers, and the SA Medical Association says he risks getting into trouble with the Health Professions Council of South Africa.

Nurse Phumzile Mbele prepares Covid-19 vaccination syringes, 7 September 2021, at the Rhema Bible Church vaccination site in Bromhof, Randburg. The site offers walk-in and drive-thru facilities. Picture: Michel Bega

A doctor’s decision to stop seeing patients who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19 might have earned him some praise for taking a stand against those obstinately refusing to get vaccinated, but his peers believe his actions are not only unethical, but also premature. This week patients arrived at Dr Tafara Machiri’s consulting rooms in Mbombela, Mpumalanga, to be greeted with a note that he "will not be seeing patients who are not vaccinated against Covid-19”. The physician complained of “compassion fatigue” saying he was tired of losing people to Covid, and boasts that 43 of the 51 patients...