• Tuesday, June 06, 2023


Ethnic minority doctors face racism in NHS, says survey

Representative image (iStock Image)

By: Sattwik Biswal

AT LEAST 75 per cent of ethnic minority doctors experienced racism more than once in the last two years, with 17.4 per cent saying they regularly faced racism at work, according to a survey by the British Medical Association (BMA).

Doctors told the BBC there was an “us versus them” culture in the NHS across the UK. They said they faced bogus complaints from colleagues, racist comments from superiors and even physical assault at workplaces.

Their complaints were either ignored or dismissed without investigation, doctors said.

According to the BMA, more than 70 per cent who faced racism didn’t complain about it.

Also read: ‘Dereliction of duty’ – Government failing Asian doctors

BMA chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul told the BBC the NHS was “riddled with racism” and added that the prejudice affects patients as well as doctors’ wellbeing by stopping them from progressing in their careers fairly.

“This is about a moral right for anyone who works for the NHS to be treated fairly,” he told the BBC.

More than 2,000 people took part in the BMA survey, which was open to all UK doctors.

It is estimated that 40 per cent of the NHS’s 123,000 doctors are from minority backgrounds, while 13.8 per cent come from the general population.

In response to the survey, NHS medical director of Primary Care Dr Nikki Kanani said racism of any kind “should not be tolerated by anyone”.

“While our latest equality report [in 2020] shows that we have made progress in some areas of the NHS, it is completely unacceptable for anyone to experience racism, discrimination or prejudice at work, and NHS organisations should continue to take a zero-tolerance approach to all and any form of discrimination,” she was quoted as saying.

The NHS said it takes a “zero-tolerance approach” to racism.

Eastern Eye

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