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Italian doctors: We’ll not report illegal immigrants

Newly approved rule requires them to report illegals to police 6th February 2009: Italian doctors have refused to be turned into spies and strongly oppose a rule requiring them to report to the police illegal immigrants who seek medical care in hospitals.

The Senate has just approved the Security Bill containing an article eliminating the rule banning doctors from reporting illegal immigrants to the police. Without this ban, illegal immigrants who seek medical care in hospitals risk being reported to the police.

The Security Bill now moves to the Chamber of Deputies where it will have to be approved before becoming effective.

The National Association of Doctors (Fnomceo) has appealed to the Deputies to shoot down part of the bill requiring them to report illegals. It doesn’t improve security but devalues our country and national health system,” said Dr. Amedeo Bianco, the president of Fnomceo.

Dr. Bianco said the Bill will keep away illegal immigrants from the national health system while at the same time favour the emergence of clandestine medical system. This would certainly lead to increase in infectious diseases.

He said that such a Bill portrays Italy as less generous State and denies medical care to people whose only mistake is that of being illegal immigrants.

Italy’s Association of Hospital Doctors has also rejected the rule requiring them to report illegal immigrants to the police.

“Doctors and nurses working at the hospitals’ Emergency Units (pronto soccorso) will not be spies against illegal immigrants who need medical care. We won’t ask for documents, in respect of the Deontology and Constitution which put first the right to health and medical care,” said Dr. Massimo Cozza, National Secretary of Fp Cgil medici trade union.

Similar views have been expressed by Dr. Vincenzo Saraceni, president of the Association of Catholic Doctors. “I’m sure doctors will abstain from reporting illegal immigrants they treat. We will also give instructions to that effect, except in case of those patients involved in serious crimes. But this is valid also for Italians, not only for foreigners,” Dr. Saraceni said.

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