The World Medical Association has appealed to the Nicaraguan Government to stop criminalising doctors for delivering medical care to protesters during the country’s continuing wave of violence.
The Latin Ibero American Medical Confederation (CONFEMEL) has reported to the WMA that street protests in Nicaragua are being met with disproportionate use of force by police, resulting in hundreds of deaths. And physicians are being dismissed, as well as being criminalised for providing medical care to protesters as well as to injured paramilitaries.
WMA President Dr. Leonid Eidelman said: ‘This is completely unacceptable, and we urge the Nicaraguan Government to put an end to these attacks on medical personnel. WMA policy makes it absolutely clear that physicians are obliged to perform their duties during armed conflict and civil unrest. The physician must always give the necessary care impartially.
‘We utterly condemn this collapse of the public health care system in Nicaragua and the breakdown of medical ethics and human rights in the country.
‘The Government of Nicaragua has an urgent duty to ensure that basic health care is restored without delay and that health care personnel and medical facilities are protected’.