Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Doctors in Syria are being forced to treat patients in secret, charity says

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 09 February 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e1000

Rapid Response:

Re: Doctors in Syria are being forced to treat patients in secret, charity says

Another doctor’s life lost in Syria’s Conflict
It has been nearly 20 months since the start of the uprising in Syria against its ruling government and there are no signs of it reaching a peaceful solution with wide spread fighting across the country involving most of its cities especially the two largest Aleppo and Damascus. The constant shelling of populated areas triggered a major internal exudes of population with the lucky ones reaching refugee camps in neighbouring countries Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan the rest who are unfortunate bare the risk of being injured by gun fire, blast shrapnel, and the lack of security has left them vulnerable to armed gangs taking advantage of the lawless situation kidnapping affluent people for a ransom.
Medical professionals are the most vulnerable people in this type of civil unrest they are easy targets they face arrest, kidnapping and persecution for one crime, that is doing their job, providing the necessary health provision to the people stuck in the middle of conflict.
The Syrian British Medical Society (SBMS) has just published another letter of condemnation for the kidnap and murder of a prominent figure in the medical society of Aleppo Dr Tasbihji is the Clinical Director of Aleppo University Hospital who was kidnapped by an armed group and left on the side of a road weeks later with a gunshot to his head who they are we will never know as all sides blame the other, one thing is certain another doctors life has been lost as this is not the first and last doctor who will lose his life while performing his duty in this conflict nor is this the first and last letter of condemnation from the Syrian British Medical Society that may fall on the deaf ears of the conflicting parties. Medical professionals across the UK should join the SBMS and support it in its work towards assisting medical personnel working in Syria to maintain the provision of health care all be it whatever the facilities and environment available for them.

Competing interests: No competing interests

04 November 2012
Omar Abdul Gabbar
Consultant Orthopaedic and Spine Surgeon
University Hospitals of Leicester
Department of Orthopaedics, Leicester General Hospital, Gwendolen Road, Leicester LE5 4PE