Intended for healthcare professionals


Saudi Arabia orders thousands of doctors and medical students to leave Canada within days

BMJ 2018; 362 doi: (Published 15 August 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;362:k3548
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

More than 800 doctors from Saudi Arabia who work in Canadian hospitals, plus thousands of Saudi students in Canadian universities and medical schools, have until the end of August to settle their affairs and leave the country, according to peremptory orders from their government.

The kingdom’s de facto ruler, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is seeking to punish Canada after its foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, criticised Saudi Arabia’s arrest of a women’s rights campaigner who had advocated for the right to drive. In addition to its action against the students, Saudi Arabia expelled Canada’s ambassador, cut trade ties, and stopped direct flights between the two countries.

Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry said that it is arranging the immediate transfer to other countries of Saudi patients being treated in Canadian hospitals. The Saudi government sometimes pays for the treatment of favoured subjects in foreign hospitals.

The Saudi government did not elaborate on its plans for these patients, which …

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