SIR issues statement on Trump foreign entry ban

The Society for Interventional Radiology (SIR) said it has concerns about U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order barring entry to the U.S. of citizens from seven predominantly Muslim nations, including Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Interventional radiology "relies on academic discourse, innovation, and continuing medical education to deliver quality patient care," SIR President Dr. Charles Ray said in a statement.

"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," he noted.

Moreover, he said, it is critical for nationals who are pursuing medical training and research in interventional radiology to be allowed to come to the U.S. to study and share their work, and critical for U.S.-based attending physicians from the banned nations who are traveling overseas, including travel for medical missions, research, or conferences, to be allowed to return to their patients in the U.S.

"We are also concerned that limiting the travel of physicians from banned countries may also have detrimental effects on the international healthcare community, particularly in areas that suffer from a lack of medical infrastructure due to ongoing strife," Ray said.

SIR is committed to promoting diversity and inclusiveness, and it welcomes the collaboration of all interventional radiology professionals, the society said.

"We call on our national leaders to eliminate barriers to scientific exchange and medical education," Ray said. Limiting the movement of physicians, researchers, and healthcare professionals "puts such advances in jeopardy by constraining collaboration, education, research, and innovation that contribute to optimal patient outcomes.

SIR's annual meeting will be held in Washington, DC, from March 4 to 9. More information is available the society's website.

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