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Doctor slams authorities for ‘demonising’ colleagues who boarded flights home amid quarantine confusion

A doctor who has been forced into 14 day quarantine in Sydney says his colleagues have been unfairly demonised by the Prime Minister, police and the NSW health department.

Melbourne Endocrinologist, Dr Shane Hamblin, was one of a large group of medical professionals who arrived in Sydney on Friday night after being stranded on a cruise ship off Chile for 10 days.

The group arrived a day before the mandatory hotel quarantine laws came into effect, but 33 of them have been slammed by authorities for ignoring quarantine orders after boarding domestic flights home.

Dr Hamblin said he’s “shocked” by the criticism.

He says the group provided their connecting flight details and were sent to a hotel in the airport with permission to catch their flights the next morning.

“Some doctors had 7am flights, some had 6am flights and they went on their flights,” he told 3AW’s Ross and John.

“Then at seven in the morning things changed and when we tried to leave 7.30am we were stopped by armed police. They were very friendly but they had guns and they said ‘go back to your room we want to talk to you later’.

“They served us with public orders that said we were a menace to society and couldn’t be controlled, and would have to stay in quarantine, which was a bit of a shock.”

The medical workers who had already boarded their flights home have been slammed by NSW Police and Scott Morrison for failing to comply with quarantine orders.

“They’re saying all these things about my colleagues that are wrong and I don’t know why they’re doing it,” Dr Hamblin said.

“I think someone in NSW Health or police have got the wrong end of the story and they’ve just run with it.

“We want to get back to work. This is a time when you should be supporting the medical profession … but instead they’re demonising these guys.”

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Image: Hamish Blair/Getty Images

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