Syrian Government urged to Stop Targeting Physicians

(26.10.2011) The World Medical Association has called on the Syrian Government to stop targeting health professionals during the anti government protests.

The WMA's plea follows yesterday's report from Amnesty International stating that doctors in Syria were being used as ‘instruments of repression' by the Syrian Government. Today (Wednesday) the WMA said it was intolerable that doctors were being faced with the choice of obeying the Syrian Government or putting their patients first.

Dr. Mukesh Haikerwal, Chair of the WMA Council, said: ‘We urge the Syrian Government to instruct health professionals to treat all patients, irrespective of their religious or political views. Any doctor refusing to treat their patients or even abusing them should be properly investigated.

‘The Amnesty report is yet another appalling example of health professionals being targeted during times of armed conflict or civil unrest. Governments must ensure that appropriate conditions exist to allow physicians to carry out their clear ethical duty to care for the sick and injured at all times.

‘This means that physicians must be granted access to patients, medical facilities and equipment and they must be given the protection needed to carry out their professional activities.'