The arrest and harassment of doctors while treating patients in the Myanmar protests has been condemned by the World Medical Association.
In a strongly worded statement, the WMA President Dr. David Barbe said that the targeting of health personnel and health care facilities by the security forces following this month’s coup was totally unacceptable.
‘The violence of the security forces is intolerable. Private clinics, medical personnel carrying out emergency treatment and ambulances have been shot at without any reason. We have reports of doctors being arrested and others fleeing from their homes to hide from the military regime.
‘This must stop. The actions of the security forces are seriously undermining health care provisions in the country and adversely impacting the Myanmar population. We remind the authorities that the right to the highest standard of health is guaranteed by the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights that Myanmar ratified in 2017.
‘We urge the authorities to take immediate action to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of all those health personnel who have been arrested. They must be released immediately and all charges against them must be dropped.
All acts of harassment and intimidation must end.
‘We support the Myanmar Medical Association’s call for doctors to take part in prevention, treatment and vaccination programs of covid19 and preventive and treatment of other diseases for the sake of the public.
‘Our duty as doctors is always to prioritise the care for our patients in all circumstances.’