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UK Uneasy Over Involvement of Doctors in Terror Attacks, but Not Panicking Over Non European Medics

zations. It doesnt surprise me that they have been targeted.

On its part the Department of Health bravely insisted vetting was the business of the employers, namely the hospitals offering short-term contracts to overseas doctors. The employers said the checks already in place are extensive.

The vetting, at the moment, focuses on medical qualifications, identity and the applicant's criminal record. There is little scope for picking up radicalisation, militancy or revolutionary tendencies.

The NHS Employers said in a statement that hospital management teams "carry out rigorous checks before they appoint any member of staff, including verification of identity, qualifications, registration and eligibility to work in the UK. The nature of their work means that staff are dealing with people who are vulnerable and we need to be confident that patients are safe".

But there was clear unease at the idea of singling out the overseas doctors for new scrutiny. There are more than 80,000 in Britain.

"While doing all they can to prevent unsuitable people taking up employment in the NHS, employers also have a duty to look after the rights of their staff and this includes not discriminating against employees in any way on the grounds of their religion or belief," said the statement.

Britains National Health Service has long relied on skilled foreign doctors to meet staffing shortfalls, and foreigners have long been drawn to its relatively generous salaries and exacting standards of training.

While foreign doctors have always had to pass a battery of tests to prove their qualifications and fitness to practice, the rules were tightened last year. Now, most foreign doctors are required to obtain work permits for specific jobs, reducing their chances of finding work.

At least two of the suspects in this case Dr. Abdullah and Mohammed Asha, a Saudi-born Palestinian are belie
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