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Doctor investigated for passing false ‘mask exemption’ certificates

DOCTOR INVESTIGATED FOR PASSING FALSE 'MASK EXEMPTION' CERTIFICATESA specialist in neuroradiology at Hospital Egas Moniz, in Lisbon is being investigated by the Portuguese Medical Association for issuing certificates to patients unnessarily, to avoid them having to wear masks as a measure of protection against the current pandemic.

Gabriel Branco is accused of issuing several certificates unnecessarily, to enable patients without any real clinical indication not to wear a mask to not wear one, claims the newspaper Observador. In one day he came to pass five declarations of exemption from wearing a mask.

According to the Directorate-General for Health (DGS), certificates that exempt people from wearing face protection such as masks or visors in mandatory locations can be authorized in patients with health problems such as mental disorders and cognitive disabilities, but must be passed by doctors related to the conditions in question. As director of the neuroradiology service at Hospital Egas Moniz it is therefore questionable that Dr Branco has issued certificates related to the areas of mental health and pulmonology. 

Doctor Branco has already been the target of at least two previous complaints to the Portuguese Medical Association. He is against the widespread use of masks as a preventive measure to halt the proliferation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. However, he told the Observer newspaper he guarantees that 99.9% of the statements he passed describe symptoms related to his area of ??specialization.

According to the aforementioned newspaper, the Portuguese Society of Neuroradiology does not corroborate the position of doctor Gabriel Branco.