Over 90% of Black and Asian respondents, said they believed racism in the medical profession was an issue, a survey by the British Medical Association (BMA) has found.
Additionally, 73% of mixed race, and 64% of white respondents said they believed racism in the NHS was a concern. Furthermore, 75% of those surveyed said they had been subjected to at least one incident of racist behaviour in the past two years, with 17% stating they experienced it regularly.
Of those who had experienced racism, 71% told the survey that they had chosen not to report the incident either out of fear of being labelled a ‘trouble-maker’ or due to lack of confidence that adequate action would be taken, while 14% said that they had considered leaving their jobs with 6% electing to leave their positions in the past two years owing to racial discrimination.
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‘The findings highlight the negative impact that racist experiences have on doctor retention, well-being, and career progression – an indisputable rebuttal to the Government’s claims in its Sewell report that the NHS is a success story for ethnic minority doctors,’ said BMA council chair Chaand Nagpaul.
‘Portraying the NHS as a success purely because of the numbers of staff from ethnic minority backgrounds employed within the service, shows little acknowledgement of the racist incidents that these staff members deal with on a regular basis.’
Nearly 60% of respondents who experienced racism said that the incident had negatively affected their wellbeing including causing depression, anxiety, and increased stress level. Additionally, 60% of Asian 57% of Black, 45% of mixed race and 36% of White non-British respondents saw racism as a barrier to career progression, with just 4% of White British respondents saying the same, while 20% of those who had experienced racism reported racist behaviour from patients.
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‘These experiences of racism are clearly undermining the NHS’s ability to bring out the best in its workforce and there is no doubt that this will be having a knock-on effect on patient services. It’s high time the conversation on race equality in the medical profession changes – reflects NHS staff’s lived experiences and seeks solutions,’ added Dr Nagpaul.
‘Employers and the Government have a duty of care to address the concerns of those who work within the health service. Decision-makers must get their heads out of the sand and act now.