Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The British medical bureaucracy is great at hounding good doctors but bad doctors? Forget about it!

See yesterday's postings. And note that even the vastly harmful Roy Meadow got off scot free and that IVF pioneer Steptoe was very nearly stopped by the British medical authorities. A lesser man would have given up

Rogue doctors and thousands of other health professionals who have been struck off for misconduct in other European countries are able to work in Britain because there is no mechanism in place to warn employers. In a letter to The Times today, ten leading medical regulators have expressed grave concerns about the vetting procedures.

The number of professionals - including doctors, nurses, dentists and chiropractors - from the European Economic Area registering to work in Britain has doubled in three years. The regulators said that although most were of benefit to Britain, a small, poorly trained minority were exploiting the system and could put patients at risk. The letter's signatories, members of the Alliance of UK Health Regulators on Europe, cite several examples, including two nurses identified in the past year who had been banned from working in Ireland and a Dutch doctor who was allowed to work in this country despite being convicted of rape in his homeland.

The alliance says that there is no system in place to test fitness to practise or language skills or to flag up those found guilty of professional misconduct or criminal offences or otherwise considered to be a danger to patients. They add in their letter that due to loopholes in EU legislation an unknown number of incompetent or convicted medical professionals could be working in Britain.

A healthcare professional from another EU state needs evidence only of recognised medical training and a "certificate of good standing" to work in Britain. Different countries apply different standards, making assessments unreliable. The alliance is calling on the European Commission to impose a legal duty on all European medical regulators to share information about professionals who transgress national codes of conduct. "In 2005, over 7,000 practitioners from the European Economic Area (the 27 EU states plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) came to Britain to register with our regulatory bodies and find work," their letter says. "While the UK undoubtedly benefits from this high level of mobility . . . there may be a minority who exploit free-movement rights and put patients at risk." It adds: "Regulators in Europe must be given the tools to enable them to facilitate this free movement while at the same time ensuring the safety of patients and the public."

Signatories to the letter, including the heads of the General Medical Council, the General Dental Council and the Nursing and Midwifery Council, call for sweeping reforms to facilitate proper checks on qualifications, experience and employment history. The letter is also endorsed by the General Optical, Osteopathic and Chiropractic councils, the Health Professions Council and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. The alliance is due to present its findings to the European Commission today.

At present, British medical regulators apply strict performance tests, measuring practical skills and proficiency in English among other things, to professionals from outside Europe who wish to work in Britain.


"Minority" Protection Likely to Defeat EU Swastika ban

We read:

"Hindus in Europe have joined forces against a German proposal to ban the display of the swastika across the European Union, a Hindu leader said. Ramesh Kallidai of the Hindu Forum of Britain said the swastika had been a symbol of peace for thousands of years before the Nazis adopted it. He said a ban on the symbol would discriminate against Hindus....

The group said banning the swastika was equivalent to banning the cross simply because the Ku Klux Klan had used burning crosses.


The Indian symbol is most usually the mirror image of the German one but they do use it both ways

My previous comment on the above matter was on 16th.

"Third World" a Racist Term?

From Britain:

"Will Hutton, the author and left-leaning polemicist, is at the centre of a race row after describing a respected Asian professor of economics as a "Third World intellectual".

The head of the Work Foundation and former editor of The Observer made the comment about Lord Desai, the Labour peer, in an exchange of letters in Prospect magazine over the economic prospects of China....

Mr Hutton's comment has angered academics. Professor David Dabydeen, of Warwick University, said that it was racist. "Hutton has made a sad and dreadful attempt to ghettoise ideas that are different from his because they are voiced by a person of colour."


I guess Third World and Western countries are really the same in all respects -- or if they are not the same we must not mention it. I was very supportive of Indian academics and their work during my research career but I did notice some characteristic differences -- some desirable, some not. But I guess I am not allowed to mentions instances of that.

Muslim dickless Tracy shuns handshake with British police chief

Scotland Yard is at the centre of a new dispute over religious customs clashing with professional duties after a Muslim woman police cadet refused to shake hands with Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner.

The incident happened at a recent graduation ceremony where Sir Ian was inspecting a passing-out parade of 200 new recruits.

The woman, who has not been named, told officers just before the ceremony began that her strict Muslim beliefs meant that she could not exchange the traditional congratulatory handshake with the commissioner.

She also refused to be photograped with Sir Ian, reportedly claiming that she did not want the image to be used for “propaganda purposes” as the Yard endeavours to recruit more female Muslim officers. Sir Ian was said to be incensed when told of the woman’s refusal.

Training officers told the commissioner that they had “reluctantly agreed” with her request as they did not want to cancel or disrupt the ceremony at the Yard’s sports and conference centre at Thames Ditton, Surrey, last month. The parade was attended by hundreds of family and friends of recruits who had completed their 18-week basic training. One senior police source said: “This had never happened before and there are serious issues at stake. There is an inquiry into the matter.”

The woman took part in the parade wearing a hijab, explaining that her faith dictates that she must not take shake hands with or kiss a man other than her father and close relative. She assured training staff that her religious code would not prevent her arresting a man.The woman is understood to have begun patrol duties in West London as part of her two-year probation period while superiors assess her suitability for the job.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “This request was only granted by members of training staff out of a desire to minimise any disruption to other’s enjoyment, and to ensure the smooth running of what is one of the most important events in an officer’s career. The commissioner did question the validity of this request, and the matter is being looked into.

“The officer maintains that she puts the requirements of being a police officer above her personal beliefs and only exercises the latter when she has choice to do so.”

The Yard has allowed women officers to wear an adaptation of the hijab as part of their uniform since 2001. Commanders have been trying to recruit more Muslims but there are still only 300 among the Met’s 35,000 officers. Fewer than 20 are women.

The Yard faced controversy last year when a Muslim officer was excused from guarding the Israeli Embassy at the height of the conflict in Lebanon. PC Alexander Omar Basha was moved to other duties after claiming that he was afraid his Lebanese relatives could be targeted if he were seen on TV.

Tahir Butt, spokesman for the Association of Muslim Police, supported the woman’s behaviour. “The actions demonstrate strength of character, challenge social norms and educate others as to the diverse practices of communities of London,” he said.

Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra, of the Muslim Council of Britain, said that the public should not be alarmed by the officer’s beliefs.

He said: “If she is called to a male victim who has been shot, the laws go out of the window. Muslim law will say, ‘Forget everything, save this life’.”


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