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“The commanding officer gave her support to it so as soon as we got into theatre we set up a choir quite early on. “We were rehearsing twice a week and it sort of took off from there.” The choir joined with the Royal Artillery Band and started rehearsing with their bandmaster, continuing even when he returned to the UK, and put on a full carol service at the main base’s hospital. It will put on other events over Christmas to bring a bit of festive cheer to troops missing their families and friends. Capt Davies, 42, from Cardiff, South Wales, who works on the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) Medical Development Team, said: “It’s been absolutely amazing, I couldn’t have wished for it to be as good as it’s turned out. “The choir’s gelled, it’s been something that’s helped with the morale of everybody out here.” And he said being involved in the choir helped boost spirits in tough times, especially over Christmas. “It’s helped the weeks tick along because everyone looks forward to the next rehearsal or spends a couple of days talking about the last rehearsal. “It’s often a very helpful and positive distraction from the work we do out here which can be difficult and challenging. “There’s many of us who have never been here before, it’s our first tour. We’ve been taken away from our normality back home, and it’s good to put that normality back into days and help morale. “The choir, the way it’s turned out, it’s been a real boost to people’s spirits on tour.” And he said it was a reminder of home for the Welsh staff at the hospital. “There’s a bit of a tradition the Welsh have with singing, and being a Welsh field hospital tour, it was only right to carry on with that tradition.
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I refer to the article by C. K. Yeung (“The government must break through Hong Kong doctors’ protectionist barrier”, December 16). I am a junior doctor in the UK, having just completed my training at medical school at the University of Southampton. I was born and raised in Hong Kong and wanted to attend one of the local medical schools in order to serve the Hong Kong public. But due to the high level of competition and limited number of places, I, like many others, had no choice but to go overseas. I am also founder of the Overseas Hong Kong Medical Student Society, which currently has about 240 members. I think the article represents the views of most of our members. Many of us feel that although passing rates seem to have improved in the past year or two, there is still a lack of transparency in the exam structures of the licentiate exams. We appreciate that the Hong Kong medical licentiate exams may not be as popular as other exams such as the United States Medical Licensing Examination or the General Medical Council’s Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board test in the UK, but information on what the exams consists of is often quite limited and many rely on tips from previous candidates. The article made an interesting point on protectionism. The government seems to have minimal control over the Hong Kong Medical Council and yet the health sector is a crucial part of Hong Kong’s society and economy. Compared to medical councils in other developed economies, the majority of the Medical Council’s main committee members are practising doctors (public and private practice). Elsewhere, for example, at the General Medical Council in the UK, lay members form up to 50 per cent of the Council [governing body] and play a major role in council decisions. Perhaps there needs to be a change in the structure of the Hong Kong Medical Council’s main committee to ensure effective social and population policies can be implemented. With Hong Kong trying to establish itself as a leader in the medical industry and medical tourism in the region, the current policies are outdated compared to other cities such as Singapore.
Police are “actively involved given the circumstances surrounding Dr Khan’s death are highly suspicious”, the lawyer added. London’s Metropolitan Police said its Counter Terrorism Command was providing family liaison support and would “seek to assist the coroner when appropriate”. Khan’s body was escorted out of Syria on Saturday by the International Committee of the Red Cross and returned to family members waiting in Lebanon. Khan’s sister Sara on Sunday described the regime’s explanation for his death, which emerged earlier this week, as “despicable”. “We want the British government to help the family in getting those answers from the Syrians as somebody needs to own up for this absolutely cruel injustice that has been done to my brother,” she told Sky News. The family say Khan paid the ultimate price for trying to help innocent civilians caught up in Syria’s brutal 33-month war. The doctor’s brother, Shah Nawaz Khan, blasted Britain’s handling of the case and suggested that British authorities — like their Syrian counterparts — were suspicious of the doctor because he was a Muslim of Indian origin. “In Syria, he’s been executed for being British — and he’s been let down by his own government for not being British enough,” he told Sky News. “The accusations that they’ve made to us were… one, that he’d entered without a visa, and two that he was fixing the bones of individuals in rebel-held areas. The accusation of any sort of terrorist or nefarious activities has never been levied to us,” he added. “The only reason why that question is raised is because he’s a British Muslim,” Shah Nawaz Khan said, adding that both British and Syrian authorities had treated his brother with “a degree of suspicion”.