YP Letters: Culture shift to end NHS pay discrimination

From: Dr Rajeev Gupta, Chair, BMA Yorkshire Regional Council.

A RECENT report published by the British Medical Journal, which shows disparities between the pay of black and minority ethnic (BME) doctors and their white colleagues, is further evidence of the need to tackle discrimination in the NHS.

Every doctor working in Yorkshire, and indeed all NHS staff, must be treated fairly and equally. It is disheartening that in this day and age these issues are still arising in the workplace.

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This doesn’t stop at pay differences with staff surveys showing that BME doctors are at greater risk of harassment and bullying from both colleagues and patients. Indeed, with only seven per cent of senior managers in the NHS coming from BME backgrounds, barriers to progression are very much present.

Is the NHS doing enough to combat discrimination?

There is also evidence for disproportionately higher complaints and higher retention of complaints against BME staff.

BME staff make up a large and vital part of the NHS workforce, without which the NHS could not function. The BMA will continue to campaign for all doctors to be treated equally but this requires efforts across all parts of the NHS and a real need for a cultural shift. The Government must do more to insure that all forms of discrimination are taken seriously.