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NHS 'subconsciously racist', says head of BMA

'SUBCONSCIOUSLY RACIST': The head of the British Medical Association says patients are being prevented from being treated by the best clinicians

Chaand Nagpaul made the comments in an interview with The Telegraph.

He said ethnic minority doctors are routinely looked over for senior posts, causing patients to be prevented from being treated by the most skilled clinicians.

Nagpaul, the first non-white doctor to take the helm of the BMA, was rejected from GP training nine times during the 1980s – something he says was because of his Indian name.

The GP of 29 years said that the NHS has “moved a long way” but that many senior staff were gripped by “subconscious bias”, which has argued is a major factor behind the lack of promotion of doctors from BME backgrounds, and the increased likelihood that such staff face disciplinary proceedings and bullying.

He told the paper that he believed the bias amounted to racism.

“There is evidence that doctors from BME origins face disciplinary procedures more than whites. We need to address that,” he said.

Figures on complaints made against doctors to the General Medical Council have revealed that between 2012 and 2016, 10.2 per cent of BME doctors had formal complaints made against them, compared with 8.8 per cent of white doctors.

Nagpaul also stated that he had to work harder to attain success in his pursuit of roles within the sector.

“At every stage in my career I have prepared and worked much harder than I would have needed to in order to secure positions. I’ve just accepted that,” he said.

Nagpaul’s comments come after it was revealed that just seven per cent of senior clinical position in the NHS are occupied by BME doctors, even though they account for a third of the workforce.

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