The political upheaval of the recent Arab Spring has taken center stage in the Middle East and North Africa. Yet an alarming trend — the systematic attacks on medical professionals, facilities and patients — represents one of the most overlooked humanitarian issues and tactical threats facing people living in armed conflict and civil unrest say Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) and Dr. Stephen N. Xenakis in an Op-Ed in The Hill.
The ongoing militarization of Bahrain’s public health system has negatively impacted the country’s citizens especially the sick and wounded, says a new PHR report. According to the report, over the past 14 months, the Government of Bahrain has denied a large segment of the population safe access to impartial medical care, resulting in widespread fear among civilians seeking medical treatment.
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The New York Times cites PHR's report, released Monday, while reporting on secret medical clinics set up in Bahrain to treat wounded civilians. Hospitals are teaming with soldiers, causing injured to seek healthcare elsewhere.
For injured protesters, houses have replaced the country’s largest public hospital, the Salmaniya Medical Complex, a crucial site in the conflict between Bahrain’s ruling monarchy and its opponents since the beginning of a popular uprising in February 2011. Because of a heavy security presence at the hospital, protesters—or people fearful of being associated with Bahrain’s opposition—have been afraid to venture there for more than a year. That reluctance may be responsible for several deaths.
Bahrain’s prosecution of some of its leading medical professionals epitomizes a disturbing sectarian chasm that must be addressed and breached, says PHR's Richard Sollom in a Global Post Op-Ed.