A Melbourne GP who tested positive for the coronavirus after treating dozens of patients has lashed out at Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos, accusing her of making “inaccurate and unfair” criticisms about his decision to return to work.
Ms Mikakos said on Saturday she was “flabbergasted” that the doctor had continued to treat patients when presenting with “flu-like” symptoms after returning from a trip to the US.
“Our advice to the community is that if you have returned from overseas and are experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms then please stay home. Do not go to work,” she said.
But Dr Chris Higgins hit back at Ms Mikakos’ comments on Saturday night, posting on her Facebook page that she was using him as a “cheap opportunity for political grandstanding” and he deserved “an apology.”
“I had a mild cold when I returned from the USA last Saturday morning, which had almost resolved itself by Monday morning, hence my decision to return to work,” he said.
Dozens of other replies to Ms Mikakos’ post offered support for Dr Higgins, who is singer Missy Higgins’ father, and accused her of “throwing him under the bus.”
In a statement released yesterday afternoon, Ms Mikakos did not apologise to Dr Higgins but fellow MP Gabrielle Williams said Ms Mikakos had reached out to the GP overnight “to express her hope that he’s feeling better.”
“This is not about targeting a particular individual. This is about urging our entire community to take the precautions that we know need to be taken in order to keep Victorians safe,” Ms Williams said.
“The Victorian government is unapologetic about doing all we can to keep the Victorian community safe.”