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Dr Kalish Chand OBE has written an article in the Guardian titled 'Why is racism rife in the NHS?' He writes about how the NHS was built with the help of immigrant workers to address post-war shortages in medical professionals and many stayed because the value of their contribution was recognised. However, he claims that “many international medical graduates (IMGs) who have been the workhorses of the NHS, are over-represented in the lowest paid, least glamorous specialties in the least popular parts of the country. Some of them have faced racism, less recognition for awards and slow promotion in their working life.”
He points to surveys by the Department of Health in 2000 that found that half of frontline NHS BME staff have experienced racial harassment, and a Kings Fund report which found that discrimination were a daily part of life for black and Asian doctors. http://www.guardian.co.uk/healthcare-network/2013/feb/05/racism-rife-nhs
Some of the surveys listed in the article are almost a decade old –but does racism continue to persist to this extent in the NHS? Have things improved? Are there better opportunities for promotion and attaining senior roles for all doctors regardless of their ethnicity? What has been your experience?
Recently we had a discussion on doc2doc about how doctors from south Asian backgrounds were more likely to fail the MRCGP exam and that this might be a form of discrimination. http://doc2doc.bmj.com/forums/off-duty_news-media_mrcgp-exams-news