Chief Medical officer for England, Sir Liam Donaldson declared last week that ethnic minority doctors in the NHS faced systematic racism, prejudice and harrassment, saying many doctors’ careers have been impeded due to this.
In his annual report on the state of the nation’s health he called for a “clear committment” to tackle racism in the NHS, which will include an annual round datble debate and a mentorship scheme for BME doctors.
Both he and BMA have called for urgent investigations into the reasons behind the fact that doctors born in Africa and Pakistan have a significantly higher mortality rate than their colleagues.
Referring to landmark studies uncovering racism in medical schools and the NHS, the report says that people from ethnic minority backgrounds are less likely to get into medical school and become consultants, and more likely to live in areas of high deprivation.
Sir Liam says, “Many institutional barriers have been removed, but there are still areas that cause concern.”
BMA equal opportunities committee co-chair Professor Bhupinder Sandhu said, “[It is] brave of [Sir Liam] to accept the historic discrimination.” But she also criticised as insufficient the recommendation for the new Care Quality Commission to continue formal assessment of the quality of diversity and equity in healthcare organisations and make public those that fall short.
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Filed in: Race politics