Policies for humanitarian service should be less ageist

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7034.851c (Published 30 March 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:851
  1. D E Rowlands
  1. Emeritus consultant anaesthetist Plas Newydd, Penmaenmawr, Gwynedd LL34 6RH

    EDITOR,—Peter Beale writes that colleges and trusts should show greater understanding towards medical staff who wish to do humanitarian work.1 I have just returned from Kurdistan in north Iraq, where I spent six weeks helping Emergency, an international organisation based in Milan, to set up and open a 50 bed surgical centre. When I retired from full time anaesthetic practice at the age of 63 I offered my services to the British Red Cross Society but was turned down as I was too old. I understand that other Red Cross societies do not have this age limit and that older doctors work with the International Committee of the Red Cross, but access to the international committee is through the national societies.

    While in Kurdistan I celebrated my 74th birthday. I suggest that the British Red Cross Society should adopt a less ageist policy.


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