French doctors ‘extorting’ migrants, charity alleges

French-doctors-extorting-migrants-charity-alleges.   PARIS,  Migrants are being charged hefty fees by French doctors for necessary medical certificates, a charity alleged Monday.

Demonstrators show support for the recent refugees in France during a rally in Place de la Republique in Paris last September. File Photo by David Silpa/UPI | License Photo















Cimade, which helps foreigners with their rights, says it has “numerous testimonies” from migrants who were illegally charged.

Last week, a doctor at a leading Paris hospital was suspended and placed under investigation by prosecutors for allegedly charging migrants for medical certificates.

“This case is the tip of the iceberg,” Laura Petersell, who works in the health department of La Cimade, told Le Parisien. “We have confirmed that numerous doctors have extorted migrants. They demand payment of several hundreds of euros in exchange for the medical certificates confirming an illness which might entitle them to a residence permit.”

Jean-Marie Faroudja, president of the ethics committee of the French Medical Association, said doctors could face disciplinary procedures for charging “vulnerable patients.”

Some medical certificates falsely state that migrants have conditions that prevent them from being deported under French law. Burt others are legitimate and charging for them is illegal under French law, which stipulates all migrants should receive free treatment under the state medical aid system.

An unidentified woman from Cameroon told Le Parisien she was charged $100 by a doctor from a list provided by the authorities when she was applying for her residency permit to be extended because of necessary medical treatment.

French President François Hollande said last Sepember that the country has agereed to accept 24,000 migrants over two years.

By Allen Cone