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Medical institutions should ‘review procurement’ of Israeli goods – IMO doctors Archive.php

IMO doctors have called on the Irish Government, medical institutions and bodies to review procurement chains and associations to ensure they are “in line” with United Nations (UN) and International Court of Justice (ICJ) rulings and directives on the war in Gaza and that any procurement does not support military action.

The amended motion, passed at this union’s AGM on 5 April, stated the IMO recognises and supports the position of the UN and the ICJ on the war in Gaza and calls for an immediate ceasefire and the release of hostages by Hamas. The union condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the ongoing attacks by the Israeli government on civilians, healthcare settings and on those seeking to provide care and aid to the people of Gaza. “We further call on the Irish Government, all medical institutions and bodies to review their procurement chains and associations so as to ensure they are in line with the UN and ICJ rulings and directives and that any procurement does not support military action.”

The original motion submitted by the IMO council called on the Irish Government, European Commission and European Parliament to use all diplomatic and financial avenues available to support all relevant agencies on the ground in the provision of healthcare in Gaza (including the reinstatement and augmentation of funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East).

At the conference, Ballinasloe GP Dr Annraoi Finnegan indicated this motion did not go far enough. He said the Israeli government was targeting clearly marked ambulances and hospitals in Gaza, which was completely unacceptable. He stated that support for Palestinian civilians should include measures such as boycotts and sanctions on Israel.

Dublin-based Consultant Gastroenterologist Dr Anthony O’Connor said that when the original motion was written it was “very right and current” but the situation in Gaza was worsening daily. He believed that expressions of condemnation “don’t suffice anymore”.

He said the world was witnessing the targeting of healthcare workers as well as aid workers – seven of whom were “executed by the IDF during the week”.

In proposing the amendment with colleagues, Dr O’Connor continued: “It gives me no pleasure to be calling for sanctions and things like that in Israel, I have huge respect for Israel as a country, I think as a small country it has done more for medicine and healthcare than pretty much any small country in the world with the exception of Scotland … but we can’t be silent and inactive in the face of this.”

He also said that “we must recognise the suffering” of people taken hostage and their families, “and the barbaric acts committed on October 7”.

Dr O’Connor said it would be very difficult to call for a “complete” boycott of Israeli goods in a medical setting as this would mean the cessation of some services. “There is a practical world we have to live in, and we have to be mindful of our own patients’ suffering as well. But I think where possible … the time has come now for us not to support Israeli goods in my opinion …and the health service is a massive consumer and procurer of goods and really needs to be mindful of how they do that.”

Seconding the amended motion, Roscommon GP Dr Martin Daly said: “We condemn what happened on October 7, it was wrong, but any response has to be proportionate and what is happening in Gaza at the moment isn’t proportionate, it is collective punishment by any manner or any measure…”

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