Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) president Charles E Ray Jr has issued the following statement in response to US president Donald J Trump’s executive order suspending entry into the USA of nationals from the countries of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
“The SIR is a global organisation dedicated to the limitless potential of interventional radiology to solve the toughest medical problems. We represent more than 6,100 interventional radiology professionals worldwide and a global medical specialty that improves lives using innovative, minimally invasive, image-guided treatments.
“Interventional radiology relies on academic discourse, innovation and continuing medical education to deliver quality patient care. As such, limiting the movement of active physicians, researchers and healthcare professionals puts such advances in jeopardy by constraining collaboration, education, research and innovation that contribute to optimal patient outcomes.
Moreover, it is critical for nationals who are pursuing medical training and research in interventional radiology to be allowed to come to the USA to study and share their work, and for US-based attending physicians from the banned nations who are traveling overseas—including travel for medical missions, research or conferences—be allowed to return to their patients in the USA.
“From 4–9 March, the SIR Annual Scientific Meeting in Washington, DC, will bring together more than 5,000 physicians, researchers, medical associates and students from more than 35 countries to discuss the latest advances in interventional radiology. The diversity of our attendees, their expertise and ideas constitute the very backbone of our meeting. This ban is discouraging and disruptive to the medical education, sharing of scientific research and corporate innovation that benefits all attendees and participants in our meeting as they strive to improve health outcomes worldwide.
“We are also concerned that limiting the travel of physicians from banned countries may also have detrimental effects on the international health care community, particularly in areas that suffer from a lack of medical infrastructure due to ongoing strife.
“SIR stands committed to promoting diversity and inclusiveness and welcomes collaboration from all interventional radiology professionals. We call on our national leaders to eliminate barriers to scientific exchange and medical education.”