Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Doctor Do No Harm

The arrest of an Indian doctor (Mohammed Haneef) based in Queensland in connection with the attempted terrorist bombings in Britain is a fearful development for Australia. This takes the number of arrested doctors to 6 in total. As I write another doctor is being interviewed in Queensland although as yet he has not been arrested.

The arrest strengthens my conviction that a terrorist attack within Australia is inevitable. While the probability of any individual being killed or injured is low the damage to Australian society will be significant (though contained). To the people harmed it will be little comfort that they were the unlucky ones.

Haneef came to Australia on a 457 visa. Screening procedures for these visas clearly should be reviewed and attention directed to what are clearly high risk categories. It would be prudent to tighten eligibility for entry into Australia under this class of visa. Skill shortages need to give way to more important considerations. Most importantly, are security concerns being overlooked when supposedly skilled potential migrants are being considered for entry?

As a matter of long-term planning I am assuming that the most stringent eligibility restrictions are being applied to the regular immigration program and the refugee/humanitarian program. We are admitting 144,000 under the regular program and 13,000 under the humanitarian program in 2006/07. A low error rate here in detecting terrorists here, if maintained over a number of years, would significantly augment supplies of local terrorists and leave us in the position of Britain.


lesleym said...

With doctors who can't even read the instructions on how to put a proper bomb together, I'm more worried about the ramifications for our health system. Who checked up on their degrees, anyway?

hc said...

A positive point is that they are unlikely to be Al Qaeda if they are this inefficient at killing unarmed civilians.

But you are right more generally - what is this type of riff-raff doing in our hospital system.

lesleym said...

As a banana-bender I do of course have a vested interest in the outcome of any investigations into the professional qualifications of overseas-recruited professionals (and not just doctors, either!)

Francis Xavier Holden said...

harry you include Professor David Morritz de Kretser AC our current Gov in Vic in the imported riff raff from our hospital system?

you are heading downhill.

hc said...

fxh, I may be heading downhill but I didn't say or suggest anything about the professor you mention. I was referring to underqualified doctors in our health system.

shlomo glickstein said...

by all means screen people carefully, but lets not stray from this to disparaging comments about foreign trained doctors:

idiot doctors come in all colours and religions. get some statistics on de-registered local doctors guys, before you draw implications about foreign trained ones. by and large immigrants have higher IQ's than locals, are more driven to succeed, and do in fact gain more success than locals. doctors who come in from outside australia have to pass way more rigourous exams than locals.

stop looking under the lamp-post light!

hc said...

This is ridiculous. During the early 1990s I published a paper supporting liberalisation of immigration requirements for foreign trained doctors. It was published in The Australian Journal of Public Administration. It criticised the role of the AMA in restricting entry by setting up impossible local practise requirements.

This post is about suspect bombing terrorists who don't seem very bright.

In claiming immigrants have higher IQs than locals, Schlomo, you are guilty of the type of false generalisation you accuse me of.

By the way I do not believe foreign-trained doctors get better training.

Shlomo Glickstein said...

Foreign doctors have to pass exams designed to keep them out. They are hideous hard. Locals don't have to do this. Training is on the job for doctors and is the same for both local and foreign; their better training is due to the crazy hard entry requirements. Checkmate Clarkster-dude!!