Intended for healthcare professionals


Rise in attacks on health personnel and facilities is “not acceptable,” WHO assembly hears

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 24 May 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3265
  1. John Zarocostas
  1. 1Geneva

Health leaders meeting at the World Health Assembly in Geneva have spoken out against a rise in numbers of violent attacks against healthcare personnel and medical facilities in countries experiencing social unrest and conflict that is making the delivery of healthcare extremely difficult.

Speaking at the assembly (the World Health Organization’s decision making body), Margaret Chan, WHO’s director general, said, “We are extremely distressed by reports of assaults on health personnel and facilities in some of these conflict situations.

“We urge all parties to ensure the protection of health workers and health facilities in conflict situations, to enable them to provide care for the sick and injured.”

Harvey Fineberg, president of the Institute of Medicine in Washington, DC, said that it “is a …

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