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Tuesday 22nd May 2018

Terror backlash for overseas medics

20th July 2007

Medics have warned that overseas doctors could face a backlash after the recent suspected terrorist attacks in London and Glasgow.


They say there is prejudice and a danger that such incidents will be used as an excuse to discriminate against NHS overseas doctors after it emerged that the suspects in the recent attacks are doctors or medical students.

The report in The Lancet says the situation is “shameful� because the NHS has for so long relied on overseas doctors to fill workforce gaps.

Following he incidents, the Government has issues new checks for migrants wishing to work in the NHS but The Lancet says this could add further to the difficulties. Organisations representing overseas doctors have voiced similar concerns.

Two car bombs were discovered in central London on 29 June and on June 30 a burning car was driven into the main terminal building at Glasgow’s international airport. The suspects are medics who qualified in Jordan, India and Iraq.

Figures show that almost 128,000 of the 277,000 doctors on the UK’s register have been trained abroad.

The Lancet says: “Although criminal checks may be a necessary counterterrorism measure, discriminating against doctors on the basis of race, religion, or country of birth is not.�

The British International Doctors’ Association (BIDA) said it has concerns that what has happened in the past weeks will “subconsciously� have some negative effect on the minds of the public and the professionals we work with.

The British Medical Association’s International Committee said the medical profession was doing everything it could to prevent discrimination.

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