Houston Methodist Hospital New Policy: ‘Only Vaccinated Visitors Enter the Hospital or Physician Offices’

Previously denied Dr. Mary Talley Bowden claim that unvaccinated will not get care

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As I wrote ten days ago, Dr. Mary Talley Bowden warned her patients that Houston Methodist Hospital was “discussing denying care for unvaccinated people.” The hospital denied the accusation and revoked Dr. Bowden’s privileges in retaliation. But secretly, Methodist changed its policy on Monday to say unvaccinated people are not welcome there. 

Houston Methodist Hospital quietly updated its website with this: 

Visitor Policy  (Effective 11/15/2021).

For everyone’s safety and to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we strongly discourage visitors. We encourage only vaccinated visitors enter the hospital or physician offices. All visitors are required to wear a mask for the entirety of their visit and are subject to Houston Methodist’s screening policy.

A hospital police of “only vaccinated visitors enter the hospital or physician offices” means the unvaccinated can’t go there for medical care. But Methodist claims it will not deny care for unvaccinated.

Dr. Bowden emailed her patients on Nov. 9 that she was only accepting unvaccinated new patients to ensure they get medical care. She wrote that one of the factors in making this policy was this:  

I then received a call from a patient with a history of bladder cancer who was looking for a new urologist.  Her current urologist works for Methodist Hospital.  He called her to tell her that Methodist was discussing denying care for unvaccinated people, and she should start looking for a urologist who can see her.

Methodist, in response, tweeted: 

The hospital then told a reporter that it had temporarily revoked Dr. Bowden’s privileges. She resigned to stop the hospital from continuing to defame her professional reputation in public. (My story about that, here.)

Dr. Bowden was not my only source on the pending change in policy at Methodist.

A woman in Houston got this text on Nov. 7 from her gynecologist’s office, which is in the Methodist system.

As you can see, it says that her doctor abides by the policy that only “vaccinated visitors” enter the physician’s office. 

Methodist said that it is not denying care for unvaccinated people, but how can they go to their doctor under this policy?

Methodist likes to be first in the nation on drastic COVID policies. It was the first to do a vaccine mandate for its employees. It is now the first to do a vaccine mandate for its patients.

Dr. Bowden had been proven right about Methodist’s vaccinated-only policy, but it’s not a victory for health care. People who make the personal decision to not get a vaccine for COVID should be treated by medical professionals the same as everyone.

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LINKS TO MY SOURCES:

Houston Methodist Hospital updated policy

Houston Methodist twitter feed about Bowden:

Dr. Bowden’s practice Breathe MD is here.

Linkedin: Mary Talley Bowden MD

Twitter for Dr. Bowden

Methodist CEO Stuart Solomon

Houston Chronicle: Houston Methodist suspends River Oaks doctor for spreading COVID misinformation (If this link is behind their paywall, read it here.)

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