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BMA chairman issues warning over victimisation of foreign doctors

6 August 2007

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Practice managers are being warned to monitor the safety of foreign GPs amid fears some have been “victimised” in the aftermath of the recent terror attacks in London and Glasgow.

Dr Hamish Meldrum, the new chairman of the British Medical Association (BMA), said workers from overseas are concerned about a backlash following news that NHS staff may have been involved in the bombing attempts.

Police held several doctors in England and Australia in the wake of the failed attacks, although some have now been released.

But Dr Meldrum said he has been told of instances where doctors from abroad have been “victimised”.

“There certainly have been reports from Middle Eastern colleagues that they have felt quite nervous following what has happened in Glasgow,” he said.

He is also urging the authorities not to tar all doctors with the same brush by conducting more stringent checks.

“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.

He also warned that all doctors feel under pressure from increased monitoring of how they carry out their day-to-day work.


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