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Racism starts at the very top

GMC Arora

The BMA’s report today on racism will sadly be of little surprise to many non-white GPs. As I have written about many times, racism permeates the whole of the NHS and general practice, and today’s report makes that clear.

Sadly, much of the racism faced within the health service is a product of society. And it is fuelled by a government that is more than happy to do so. The story overnight about the Government in a fight with the courts over whether to deport refugees to Rwanda made me feel ashamed. This is the kind of policy you’d expect to see on a BNP pamphlet.

This might seem a million miles away from general practice. But, in a story that is scarcely believable, the Home Office has been sending letters threatening deportation to newly qualified GPs in the middle of a recruitment crisis. The priorities of this Government are clear. Showing they are hardline on immigration supersedes trying to improve public services. And, to complete the circle, a Tory MP is now blaming immigration for long GP waiting lists.

With such a Government in place, I think that many of the problems indicated by the BMA’s report today aren’t going away. The NHS and practices can and should take a hard line on racism from patients, but there will always be other patients displaying racist views.

However, the NHS and the profession can look at where they can make changes to mitigate the worse outcomes faced by minority ethnic GPs – primarily looking at processes such as GMC investigations, CQC inspections, RCGP exams etc.

We may not be able to eradicate racism from society, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make positive change.

Jaimie Kaffash is editor of Pulse. Follow him on Twitter @jkaffash or email him at editor@pulsetoday.co.uk

READERS' COMMENTS [1]

Mo Sul 16 June, 2022 2:34 am

Sadly, much of the racism faced within the health service is a product of society. And it is fuelled by a government that is more than happy to do so.
GMC and RCGP has not learnt anything from previous reports and society is shifting to the right, It will be right to emigrate or leave as early as possible.
I have never encouraged anyone to come to UK, they are better off in 3rd world country.