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Doctors of the World (Médecins du Monde) response to allegations of surveillance on its operations

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Link to the Guardian article

Leigh Daynes, UK Executive Director of Doctors of the World (Médecins du Monde) said:

“We’re bewildered by these extraordinary allegations of secret surveillance.

“If substantiated, snooping on aid workers would be a shameful waste of taxpayers’ money; money that would be better spent vaccinating Syrian children against polio, or rebuilding the Philippines’ shattered health system.

“Our doctors, nurses and midwives are not a threat to national security. 

“We’re an independent health charity with over 30 years’ experience in delivering impartial care in some of the world’s poorest and most dangerous places.  Our medical professionals, many of whom are volunteers, risk their lives daily in countries like Mali and Somalia, and in and around Syria. 

“There is absolutely no reason for our operations to be secretly monitored.  We have nothing to hide.

“Like other humanitarian actors, we adhere strictly to the fundamental principles of independence, neutrality and impartiality in our work.

“We’re able to reach patients in need in sensitive locations because communities understand we are a neutral intermediary.  Any erosion of understanding and trust in our impartiality and confidentiality limits our ability to work and puts the lives of our staff and volunteers at risk.

“We are also gravely concerned about any breach of doctor-patient confidentiality, which would be an egregious impingement on medical ethics.

“Our aid priorities are calculated on the basis of need alone.  Our aid is never used to further a particular political or religious standpoint. And we have robust anti-fraud and anti-corruption policies and procedures in place.”

ENDS

For more information: Nick Harvey – +44 (0) 20 7167 5789 or 07565944042

Notes to Editors:

www.doctorsoftheworld.org.uk

• For more than 30 years Doctors of the World has provided emergency and long-term medical care for vulnerable patients in 70 countries, including in Africa and the Middle East, in partnership with communities, and with local and national health authorities.  It aims to deliver self-sufficient health programmes, while fighting for equal access to healthcare worldwide.  The organisation was founded in France in 1980.