Broader medical impact feared
The order’s potential effect on physicians coming to train in the United States is not the only problem, the AMA said. Dr. Gurman also pointed to the possibility of “unnecessary delays to patient care” if the administration fails to clarify what factors “will be considered when allowing individuals from the six countries to enter the U.S. for medical treatment.”
Then there is the matter of the how the ban will affect the exchange of medical and scientific knowledge so critical to advancements in care here and around the world.
Dr. Gurman said the AMA is concerned “that the revised executive order will continue to affect the exchange of medical knowledge between the U.S and the six impacted countries by barring foreign experts from traveling to medical and scientific conferences in the U.S.”
The AMA president’s remarks come on the heels of the Association’s response to the first iteration of the travel ban. In February, AMA CEO and Executive Vice President James L. Madara, MD, wrote to Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly seeking clarification on the Jan. 27 executive order.
“While we understand the importance of a reliable system for vetting people from other nations entering the United States,” Dr. Madara wrote, “it is vitally important that this process not impact patient access to timely medical treatment or restrict physicians and international medical graduates who have been granted visas to train, practice or attend medical conferences in the United States.”
In addition to the 90-day ban on travel from the six nations, the revised executive order suspends the nation’s refugee program for 120 days and cuts the total number of refugees the U.S. will accept, from the current 110,000 cap to 50,000.