Red Cross Surgeon Calls for Greater Security in Conflict Zones to Protect Workers, Hospitals


A visiting Red Cross surgeon has warned that health care workers need additional security in conflict zones, adding that the lack of protection is one of the biggest issues facing health care today.

Dr Robin Coupland is the chief surgeon and medical adviser to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) based in Geneva.

He said governments, armed forces and the health care community must do more to make health care delivery safer around the world.

Speaking at the World Medical Association's H20 International Health Summit in Melbourne, Dr Coupland said last year health personnel suffered more than 1,800 violent incidents.

He said this in turn had a devastating effect on populations needing urgent health care.

He said the ICRC was alarmed over what it saw as the unacceptable use of explosive weapons in urban areas of conflict zones.

For seven years, Dr Coupland worked as a field surgeon in Thailand, Cambodia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Angola, Somalia, Kenya and Sudan.

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