Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Indian Medical Association Concern Over Violations of Fundamental Health Rights in Camp Liberty

The Indian Medical Association has expressed its concern to the Iraqi Prime Minister about "worrying health conditions" in Camp Liberty, the former United States military installation in Baghdad, now being used to house the members of the People's Mujahedin of Iran who previously resided in Camp Ashraf.

In a letter written to the Prime Minister Hon Dr. Haider al-Abadi, Padma Shri awardee Prof Dr A Marthanda Pillai National President; Padma Shri Awardee Prof Dr K K Aggarwal Honorary Secretary general and Dr S S Aggarwal President Elect, Indian Medical association said " We at Indian Medical Association, the largest medical NGO of the world with over 250,000 doctors as members express our deep concerns about the disturbing health conditions in Camp Liberty in Iraq.

As per the information received by IMA, from Amnesty International and other global human rights organisations, it looks that the inmates of Camp Liberty are being subject to violations of their fundamental health rights. These restrictions amount to very serious breaches of basic human rights, including the right to health and the right to be free from inhuman and degrading treatment."
" The violations include:
·         Restricted access to health professionals for sick persons
·          No privacy with failure to respect the ordinary rights of patients to medical confidentiality
·          Denial of travel outside Camp Liberty to receive urgent medical treatment
·          Failure to provide interpreters during interactions with health professionals.
·         Hospitalization of patients and purchase of medicine have been prevented.
·         Cancellation of medical appointments, delayed transfers of patients to hospital, or denial of permission to travel outside the Camp to receive treatment.
·         These on-going obstructions have resulted in the rapid deterioration of the health conditions of several patients of the Camp Liberty and even in the death of some.  As per reports lack of timely and appropriate care have resulted in deaths of up to 22 residents of the camp. " 

I MA communication said " We at IMA are extremely concerned by this situation that reveal flagrant violations of medical ethics principles and human rights standards. The right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health is a fundamental element of human rights enshrined in article 14 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural rights that Iraq has ratified in 1971.

We urge the Iraqi authorities to respect its commitment and take action as a matter of urgency in order to ensure to the residents of the Camp Liberty full access to adequate health care facilities, whether inside or outside the camp. "

IMA has asked the Iraqi Prime Minister to " Kindly ensure that health personnel work with the assurance that medical ethics principles, such as confidentiality, are entirely respected without any reservation." 

Already World Medical Association and British Medical Association have also raised similar concerns.

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