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Gold, incentives and meh

Foreign-born GPs are bearing the brunt of public anger

Foreign-born GPs are bearing the brunt of public hostility in the climate of austerity, writes one GP anonymously

I have been living here 17 years. Having gone through the tedious visa process, I have been a British national the past six years. I worked in various underserved fields of medicine in underserved areas of the UK, before becoming a GP. I have been practising in this role for seven years.

The past two and half years have been have been difficult for me as a GP, not only due to the increased workload, reduced funding and the shortage of staff, problems that the whole of the NHS is facing. There is also one more important factor that I did not believe I would still be facing after 17 years of living and working here.

That factor is that I was not born here. Initially like most people, I thought it was all ‘BREXIT related racism’.

But some of my own patients have started talking about this openly. And I have been discussing this with other foreign-born GPs with backgrounds similar to mine. The problem is more complex than BREXIT or racism, in fact I don’t even think we can call it racism.

The factors are a complex mixture of increasing poverty, lack of public services and fuelling by the media of so-called nationalism that targets immigration as the cause of these problems.

Patients often make comments, sometimes quite direct, such as ‘when I saw your name I did not think you would be a good doctor, but now seeing you I think I was wrong’, or ‘how come you are from a different country but have a house, car and live in luxury while even being born here I live in penury’.

Another of my fellow foreign-born GPs said: ‘I hope there will be a general election soon and change of government – I don’t care if the new government taxes me to the skin so long as they tackle British poverty so patients will let me off the hook.’

In these tough times when GPs are already working under such increased pressures, we foreign doctors also face a lack of trust and anger, as well as a constant fear of complaints, from the same patients we try to save every day.

Anonymous GP, England

 

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Readers' comments (11)

  • '' ‘how come you are from a different country but have a house, car and live in luxury while even being born here I live in penury’.''
    Tell them to move their a**es and get to work. Notice how many white faces you see after hours on rail stations, airports, taxis, cafes etc.
    They don't want to do the difficult tasks - just take life easy in this nanny state and do the more cushy jobs. In pack-houses, the line manager is white british but the whole staff is coloured. Being penniless and relying on benefits is a choice these people make and then they blame it on foreigners !

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  • ASnd if you are a GP, it's not the aptients you need to worry about. It is the NHSE and CCGs which are dominated by people with extreme view so being coloured deprives and punishes your patients - even the white british- because you are not funded a proper entrance to the Surgery. a disable lift for patients and even what is listed on your Open Exeter Statements./ As if the statement produced by the government was also coloured and hence discriminated against.

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  • AlanAlmond

    “Notice how many white faces you see after hours on rail stations, airports, taxis, cafes etc.
    They don't want to do the difficult tasks - just take life easy in this nanny state and do the more cushy jobs. In pack-houses, the line manager is white british but the whole staff is coloured. Being penniless and relying on benefits is a choice these people make and then they blame it on foreigners !“
    Unscepted- you are an angry racist. I find it unsettling that you are apparently working somewhere as a GP. As a whits person I certainly wouldn’t want someone with views like yours acting as my GP. Please reflect on why you are so angry and get some help. Most of my patients are not white. If I looked upon them as you appear to view white people I hope I’d have the self perception to realise I wouldn’t be fit to go to work...are you?

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  • I think you got disheartedned by view of few narrow minded poeple who don't work and not welling to do anything but wanting every thing for granted. We already pay tax from every single pence we earn but HMRC should turn their face to google, Amazon, Starbuck , etc to get tax. I don't believe poverty in this country at all or people have not seen what is poverty.

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  • @Alan Almond: Sorry, that comment is a response to patients with a racist attitude -, please don't take that as personal. On the other hand, yes, you do feel angry when you as a GP are treated worse than white colleagues and even your white patients are discriminated against just because their doctor is not white.
    Should I take treatment as I am racist? No, I don't thinks so. I would suggest that my response be taken with a pinch of salt and in context to the article.

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  • And the BMA wants to import more of these poor sods to get the same rough treatment.
    Please please BMA, this is the plight of many. Please do not recruit others to this cruel job.

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  • I am not surprised, given the racist statements and behaviour emanating from many foreign politicians in relation to Berexit at the moment!
    It is only natural Brits should object to the nearest foreign people they meet!

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  • Don't let it get you down. Without your good work there would not be any service left. I am foreign and white, so perhaps more difficult to judge . I get good feedback from my patients. But my colleagues, who are mostly from India or Pakistan, tell a different story. But as a nation what can you expect from Britain. They took 25 percent of the world. How did they do that. With the army. They took South Africa from the dutch ,and then they introduced Apartheid.
    So as a nation they are naturally rascists. Of course not everyone is .Rascists are also in Europe and probably the biggest rascist country is the USA.
    Try and concentrate on the good things. Not everyone is rascist but it is very british to blame all the badness coming from outside and Europe .That is just the islanders mentality. But I think this comes most of all from uneducated people. I am dutch and I can definitely say that Britain is not my country. The countryside is very pretty. Most people are decent and friendly but it is the ultimate class society of Europe and and very slow in adapting into the 21st century

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  • Macaque

    @Joannes Langendjik. You make some interesting observations but one can argue that you made some sweeping generalisations! Some might call you a racist. Some might joke that you are bitter because Dutch were chased away by the Brits in that era. LOL.

    Going back to your statement about Brits taking 25% of the world over; when I walk among the grand buildings in London admiring them, and when I think about her majesties wealth, I can not help thinking about all those poor human beings-slaves, who paid for it with their lives! Those diamonds and precious gems on the Crown Jewels, they were not dug in Britain. How much blood wood those sparkles have on them? But to be fair, Britain has come a long way since then.

    Just an anecdote to support a point you made; I have come across few white Brits who criticised the cast system in India. When you look at the class system here, I think it is not much different. Perhaps echoes from the Victorian era. Cast/Class, may be we should ask Kanye West to rap about this!!

    Also, a few receptionist have mentioned to me that there are patients who request to see a white doctor when they make appointments.

    Daily mail is the best selling tabloid in this country. When you look at the tone and the interests of this paper, you kind of get an idea of the typical daily mail readers psyche. I kind of like to think that these readers are a portion of the 'working class' brain washed by Ms Thatcher. LOL. If you imagine one of these daily mail readers becoming a patient and seeing a foreign born doctor. Gosh, I have made some sweeping generalisations! I apologise.

    I have worked in few surgeries, foreign born doctors get more complaints. I vaguely remember previous RCGP head used to say that it is a problem with communication (poor English??) and the 'foreign cultural upbringing'. But has RCGP thought about the possibility of patients' bias towards the foreign born doctors? It looks like GMC, NHS England or the RCGP do not want to go there. May be from a medical ethics point of view we have to ignore even if there is a bias like that??

    I think the sociologists in this country should do more research in this area and perhaps GMC should reflect these findings in their ethical guidance.

    Last point I would like to make is that the author of this article may have biases because he/she was born in a foreign country. May be he/she has a chip on his/her shoulder. At the moment Kanye West seems to make waves about this kind bias in African-American people. According to him slavery was by choice!

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  • Dear Dr Anonymous,
    You made a perfectly reasonable case that Poverty weakens social relations and increases intolerance (myriad examples in world history). In fact, and in a somewhat convoluted way, you rightly offered shortage of economic resources as one of the reasons for the rise of racism. Only to see the results of unintended consequences with colleagues throwing custard pies at you and each other.
    You have my sympathy, but please do not let them deter you from expressing your well grounded views.

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