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Doctor in spotlight after refusing to treat refugees

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Refugees arriving at Vienna's Westbahnhof station. File photo: Caritas
12:59 CET+01:00
A Viennese doctor who put up a sign on the door to his practise saying that he wouldn't accept asylum seekers as patients may face disciplinary action. He also announced his decision on Facebook, causing a storm of protest on the social networking site.

Dr Thomas Unden, who works as a general practitioner and also as a foot and hand surgeon and pain therapist in Floridsdorf, is now being investigated by the Vienna medical association after people complained about his attitude.

Doctors may only refuse to treat a patient if they have a “justified reason”, such as having been insulted or attacked by the patient, the medical association said.

Registered asylum seekers and those who have been granted asylum receive health insurance and should therefore be treated like any other patient.

Doctor Unden could receive a fine, and in the worst case be barred from the medical profession.

 

 

He has made several anti-asylum seeker statements in recent months on his Facebook page. According to an article in Der Standard newspaper he also made several anti-Semitic statements and linked to an article which praised Hitler and advised people to arm themselves against refugees.

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He told the Kurier newspaper that he also refuses to treat politicians from the "Social Democrats, Greens or conservative People's Party".

Doctor Unden received a €1,500 fine three years ago from the Disciplinary Board of the Medical Association after he appeared on ATV television and made misogynistic statements, saying that Austrian women are a “combination of saggy breasts and varicose veins”.

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