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Action call on war zone medical facilities

Thursday February 28th, 2019

Senior UK doctors are pressurising the government to press for the enforcement on international agreements protecting medical facilities and clinicians in war zones.

16 medical royal colleges put their names to a letter to foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt.

The letter asks him to support the Colombo Declaration, which was agreed by an international emergency medicine conference in Sri Lanka in 2016.

The letter points out that last year there were 338 attacks on medical facilities in 16 countries, the majority perpetrated by nation states.

Dr Taj Hassan, president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said: “It is sickening that health workers trying to heal the sick and injured in war zones are being targeted as part of war efforts.

"Patients and staff should never be collateral in militarised political disputes, and we call on the government to help these innocent bystanders of war by showing their support for the Colombo Declaration.”

British Medical Association chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul added: “We know that many members and fellows from all Colleges work in conflict zones and carry out humanitarian relief work.

"The UK Colleges have now signed their support for the Declaration and would like to ask the UK government to signal its support for this important Declaration by raising the issue again in the UN and lobbying them to enforce UNSC Resolution 2286.”

Tags: A&E | UK News | World Health

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