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The new generation of Asian doctors face the same barriers and stigmatisation as their older peers because of institutional racism in the NHS, Professor Aneez Esmail believes.

Professor Esmail told the recent RCGP spring conference that the contribution of South Asian doctors to the NHS had been 'airbrushed' out of history. 'Asian doctors now form nearly 30 per cent of the workforce of the NHS. Without them it would have collapsed, but most were never able to fulfil their career aspirations,' he said.

'As the NHS enters a further period of expansion with another influx of Asian doctors the same patterns of service and betrayal are in danger of being repeated.'

Professor Esmail, a GP in Manchester, professor of general practice at the University of Manchester and co-chair of the BMA's equal opportunities committee, added that few ethnic minority doctors were in medicopolitics or held NHS management positions.

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