Man Denied Entry For Second Time To See Wife Before Brain Surgery Due to COVID-19 Measures

By Daniel Khmelev
Daniel Khmelev
Daniel Khmelev
Daniel Khmelev is an Australian reporter based in Perth covering energy, tech, and politics. He holds bachelor's degrees in math, physics, and computer science. Contact him at daniel.khmelev@epochtimes.com.au.
March 4, 2022 Updated: March 4, 2022

A man is being refused entry into a Western Australian (WA) hospital to visit his wife before and after her brain surgery due to WA’s new strict COVID guidelines.

For Gary White, this is the second near-identical incident after previously being turned away by hospital security for failing to show proof of vaccination—only to be allowed in later after an outraged crowd gathered in support.

This is because prior to Mar. 3, unvaccinated visitors were not allowed to enter hospitals unless they were deemed “essential visitors,” and though this does not include spouses, Gary was granted an exemption.

Now, after Mar. 3—the day WA reopened its interstate borders—the rules have expanded, with the WA government ordering hospitals to enter ‘red’ alert phase and denying all non-essential visitors, regardless of vaccination status.

And with the changing rules, and despite visiting regularly up until the day before on Mar. 2, Gary has been re-evaluated to no longer be eligible to see his wife.

“I can’t think of any words to describe it, to be honest. Every time I think about it I just want to burst into tears,” Gary told The Epoch Times.

Epoch Times Photo
Gary White and his wife, Jane. (Gary White)

Gary explained that her initial admission into surgery was to remove a tumour in the brain. However, the discovery of an MRSA infection following the procedure meant his wife has now had to return to have part of her skull removed.

Gary said that despite the extremely stressful situation, that he was unable to stay by his wife’s side before the operation, and now fears he won’t be able to see his wife for up to six weeks while she recovers in hospital.

“My poor wife’s gone through a brain surgery and now MRSA … and to have to go through all this again, and more, and just not being able to see her to give her support so she can know that her loved ones are there. It’s just wrong,” Gary said.

A spokeswoman of Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Perth said they had been abiding by rules outlined by WA Health in order to reduce the risk of COVID entering hospitals.

“While Mr White’s wife has undergone surgery, she is not in a critical condition,” the spokeswoman told The Epoch Times in an email.

“The visiting restrictions help us to limit our patients’ exposure to COVID-19 while in our care.”

However, the fact that the rules prohibit individuals from visiting their husbands or wives at hospitals while still allowing for gatherings at nightclubs has baffled medical professionals.

Australian Medical Association WA President Dr Mark Duncan-Smith labelled the rules ‘bureaucratic absurdity’ under the leadership of WA Premier and Labor Leader Mark McGowan.

“I call on the McGowan government to immediately include spouses and partners as essential visitors, so that these people can be with their loved ones when they’re sick and unwell,” Duncan-Smith said in a media conference.

“Under the current arrangements, a grandmother of 80 years of age cannot visit her husband who’s having a heart attack, but she can go to a nightclub on the way home. This is bordering on bureaucratic absurdity, and we call on the Government to correct this immediately.”

The Epoch Times reached out to the WA government but did not receive a reply in time for publication.

As of Mar. 4, the state recorded 2,137 new cases, bringing the total to 9,660, with 21 remaining in hospital.

Daniel Khmelev is an Australian reporter based in Perth covering energy, tech, and politics. He holds bachelor's degrees in math, physics, and computer science. Contact him at daniel.khmelev@epochtimes.com.au.