Grimshaw vet visited after complaint

But it has nothing to do with animal care, it’s about wearing masks

Susan Thompson
South Peace News

A Grimshaw vet says Alberta Health Services has visited her clinic to check compliance with public health guidelines since she posted a sign on her door warning the public not everyone in her practice wears masks.

The sign on the door of the Mighty Peace Vet Clinic states, “On the other side of this door there are members of the staff not wearing masks due to exemptions or personal freedoms.

“We are at work today as we have not travelled, been exposed to someone with COVID as far as we know, we feel well and everyone this morning did the sniff test and we can all smell poop, anal glands, and rotting flesh.”

After a warning from Dr. Guglich that she may hug clients, the sign ends, “If you feel my business is an unsafe business please feel free to find another veterinary clinic.”

Masks are currently mandatory indoors throughout Alberta, except for some medical exemptions. Wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 has continued to be controversial, with protests across the province claiming public health orders such as masks and social distancing infringe on people’s rights and freedoms, even as hospitals report they are being overwhelmed with new cases in younger patients.

Dr. Tara Guglich says AHS visited her clinic due to a “concerned citizen.”

In a text interview April 15, Dr. Guglich says, “AHS visited me a week ago and we talked and she was OK with our practice.”

There are currently no enforcement orders listed by AHS against the Mighty Peace Veterinary Clinic.

Kathy Naum, manager of Communications and Professional Enhancement for the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association [ABVMA] says, “Alberta practices are expected to operate in compliance with all public health orders mandated by Alberta Health Services [AHS].

“Like many other industries and businesses, veterinary practices in Alberta have been challenged to adapt to the pandemic since it began,” she adds.

“ABVMA has been communicating with members regularly, and providing suggestions that practices should consider and may implement in order to be compliant with public health orders.

“Again, ultimately, ABVMA’s direction to members is that veterinary practice operations must comply with public health orders. Since each practice is unique and has its own set of challenges, the adaptations implemented may vary between veterinary practices, based on their individual business circumstances.”

Naum says ABVMA has also regularly encourages veterinary practices to implement measures that reduce the risk of transmission, and that protect the health and safety of both their clients and employees.

“Veterinary practices have met this challenge well, despite the added pressure it may place on their human resources, which are already in short supply in the industry,” she says.

Naum says ABVMA would defer to AHS to determine if a practice operating is in compliance with current health orders.

“If a complaint were received about a practice, whether COVID related or otherwise, it would be handled in the same manner as any complaint coming into the ABVMA, and be subject to the ABVMA’s complaints and discipline process,” she says.aum says ABVMA can’t comment on the specific wording of the sign in case there is a complaint.

“Should the practice ever be subject to a complaint, publicly commenting on this sign could undermine the ABVMA’s ability to fulfill its responsibility of administering the complaints process appropriately, and in line with our responsibility under legislation.”

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