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Friday, August 03, 2007

Foreign medics 'fear backlash' after attacks

FOREIGN doctors have been "victimised" in the aftermath of the failed bomb attacks in Glasgow and London, according to the new head of the British Medical Association.

Dr Hamish Meldrum, who was born in the Capital and studied at Edinburgh University, said colleagues from overseas feared a backlash after the revelation that NHS staff may have been involved in the attacks.

Several doctors were arrested in the wake of the failed car bomb attacks, though some have now been released.

Dr Meldrum, who was appointed chairman of the BMA last month, said today: "There certainly have been reports from Middle Eastern colleagues that they have felt quite nervous following what has happened in Glasgow."

He also spoke out against targeting doctors from abroad for tougher checks, and urged the authorities to show restraint.

"To suggest, as one or two suggest, that we need to particularly toughen up on the checking of people who come from abroad, seems to me out of proportion," he said.

Dr Meldrum also warned that all doctors felt under siege from increasing checks on how they carry out their work.

Many felt they were working in an atmosphere where there was an immediate assumption that they were bad at their jobs, he said. [Link]

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