Australia Social worker investigated for allegedly making COVID-19 vaccine false claims in email

04:41  15 october  2021
04:41  15 october  2021 Source:   abc.net.au

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Authorities have launched an investigation into an Adelaide social worker following a complaint she made false claims about COVID-19 vaccinations in an email distributed earlier this year.

South Australia's Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner has imposed an interim prohibition order on Matilda Bawden, for at least 12 weeks.

The order, which came into effect yesterday, suspends her from providing health services "in respect of" education and information "relating to COVID-19 vaccines".

In a statement, the commissioner's office said the order had followed a complaint "about emails authored by Ms Bawden making false claims about COVID-19 vaccines".

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An email sent out by Ms Bawden on April 7 stated that she was suspending services to "service providers, clients, friends and family" who receive an inoculation.

While not a registered healthcare worker, Ms Bawden remains subject to an industry code of conduct.

The commissioner is a statutory authority with powers to ban health service providers from specified services as complaints are investigated.

Commissioner Grant Davies said it was not the first time an unregistered health care worker was investigated for statements about COVID-19 vaccinations.

"This is the third interim prohibition order we've issued about false COVID vaccine information provided by unregistered health care workers recently," he said.

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"As I have always stated, my primary concern is the safety of members of the South Australian public and therefore, I have decided to investigate this matter as I am concerned about what Ms Bawden has expressed in her emails.

"The code applies to all unregistered health services, including social workers."

Ms Bawden has worked with National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) clients.

She is not a registered NDIS provider, but self-managed NDIS clients can choose to spend their funding with her business.

She is allowed to continue to provide other services while the investigation is conducted, the commissioner said.

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