Report shows increasing number of Asian doctors quit NHS due to racism

Nischal Sanghavi Wednesday 22nd June 2022 08:19 EDT

In a shocking event, a landmark survey recently has revealed that doctors from ethnic minority backgrounds are facing racism in NHS.

The British Medical Association (BMA), which is a professional association and trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors of the UK, had conducted a survey of medics. The survey that was open to all UK doctors in medical workplaces, was participated by 2030 medics. It is important to note that 40% of 123,000 NHS doctors belong to minority backgrounds. The comprehensive survey was on the experience of racism in the medical profession and workplace.
One of the most alarming finding of the survey is that nearly one-third doctors of those surveyed have in the past two years, either left or considered to leave NHS due to racial discrimination. This includes 41% of Asians and 42% of Black doctors.
One response that was received in the survey read as “I was called ‘headscarf b****’ by a patient. A patient refused to be seen by me as my name did not sound British.” Another one says, “A supervisor did not wish to discuss the experience of the patient not wishing to be seen by me and I was met with mostly silence.”
Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr Keyur Buch returned to India after working in NHS for years. He told us how he faced institutional racism in NHS, as his boss allegedly told him that he would never promote a ‘brown’ person like Dr Buch to become a consultant. Although Dr Buch took this as a challenge to ensure that he did become a consultant, he told us that he had to work double hard than his white peers to do so.
Dr Buch, who worked with NHS in Manchester and London also found that doctors from ethnic minorities were targeted more during internal investigations. In fact, complaints about minority doctors were more vigorously reported to the General Medical Council. High levels of racism were evident during training and salary increments. However, as Dr Buch puts it, “there is also a silver lining in between these dark clouds. Many white colleagues are really good and supportive, who help you boost morale and fight discriminations.”
Another doctor working for NHS, is facing racism but requested not to disclose his name. He said racist experiences have been affecting his career progression and increasing his stress levels. In fact, in the survey 71%, of those who had a racism experience, have admitted that they had chosen not to report the racism incident out of fear of being labelled as ‘trouble maker’ or due to lack of confidence that adequate action would be taken.
With little acknowledgement of racist incidents from the NHS and the authorities so far, it is very clear that no-action from authorities will clearly undermine the NHS’ ability to bring out the best in the workforce and subsequently a knock-on effect on patient services.

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