News World Board investigates IS doctor

Board investigates IS doctor

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The Medical Board of Australia (MBA) is investigating Western Australian doctor Tareq Kamleh, after he appeared in a propaganda video for the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group urging other medical professionals to join him in Syria.

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) took the unusual step of releasing a statement late on Friday confirming the MBA had taken regulatory action in relation to Dr Kamleh’s medical registration.

Australian doctor joins IS in Syria

In the statement, the AHPRA said it would continue to liaise with the Australian Federal Police in relation to the issue.

The medical regulator has also warned other health workers considering travelling to IS-controlled areas that it is an offence to enter a declared area, and that doing so could have a direct and immediate impact on their registration in Australia.

In a video posted last week promoting an IS health service, Dr Kamleh identified himself as Abu Yusuf and called on other medical professionals to join him in Syria.

Dr Kamleh’s decision to join the terrorist group has drawn widespread condemnation from politicians and his former colleagues who said they were appalled and horrified by his actions.

The 29-year-old graduated from Adelaide University with a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery in 2010 and has worked at hospitals around the country including in Mackay, Adelaide and Alice Springs.

He is the first known Australian health worker to travel to the Middle East to join IS.

The AHPRA said it felt the need to confirm the investigation to uphold professional standards and maintain public confidence in the regulated health industry.

“We protect the health and safety of the public by ensuring that only health practitioners who are suitably trained and qualified to practise in a competent and ethical manner are registered, it said.

“To protect the integrity of its ongoing work, and the efforts of other authorities, no further comment can be made at this time.”

Under section 119.2 of the Criminal Code, a person who enters or remains in a declared area without a legitimate purpose faces a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment.