As it becomes clearer that the terrorists involved in the attempted attacks in London and Glagow were all doctors and working for the NHS, it is interesting that just about a month earlier Muslim doctors and conservatives met to discuss their problems.
The Conservative Muslim Forum organised a meeting between Muslim doctors and the Conservative Shadow ministers on May 16. The meeting discussed the "current crisis in the NHS" and what needed to be done to "stop the growing disillusionment of people working in the Public Health sector."
Conservative Shadow Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley, told the 60 Muslim doctors that "doctors from the Asian subcontinent make a terrific contribution to the NHS." He then lashed out at Health Secretary, Patricia Hewitt's allegation in March that some Muslim GPs are guilty of breaking the confidentiality of their patients. She told Pulse magazine, "I have had Muslim women give me chapter and verse on very distressing breaches of confidentiality by Muslim GPs. Some women patients feel they cannot trust their own GP, who knows the patient's extended families." Her comments were condemned by the Muslim community.
Dr Reefat Drabu, a GP in Hampshire and Chair of the Muslim Council of Britain's Social and Family Affairs Committee, told The Muslim News, "The allegations are serious and so far there has been no evidence to back them."
Lansley said at the meeting, "The last thing we should do is question their professional integrity. I was shocked that Patricia Hewitt - without providing evidence - described Muslim doctors as being prone to disclosing confidential information."
Chairman of the Conservative Muslim Forum, Lord Mohammed Sheikh, in his welcome speech, said his Party was "engaging with all sections of British society and is willing to listen and learn. If we all work together there will be better progress for all society."
The meeting was welcomed by the Muslim doctors. "It was a useful meeting as we had direct interaction with the Conservative Secretary of State. Normally we don't get a chance to meet and discuss about our concerns with ministers. It helped us to clear misconceptions about the Tory Party's issues on the NHS," Chairman of British Pakistani Physician Association, Dr Khalid Khan, told The Muslim News.
Those attending the meeting from the Conservatives' Health team included: Tim Loughton MP, John Baron MP, Dr Andrew Murrison MP, Stephen O'Brien MP, Lord Howe and Lord McCol.
Source: Muslim News (English)