Faizel Patel – 22/01/2021
The Chairperson of the Muslim Doctors Association in the UK says while she is not surprised by the findings of preliminary report showing massive discrimination by medical aids against Indian, Black and Coloured doctors, the problem is not unique to South Africa.
A panel headed by Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi investigated after allegations by members of the National Health Care Professionals Association, that they were being unfairly treated.
They believe their claims were withheld by medical schemes because of the colour of their skin and their ethnicity.
Speaking to Radio Islam, Dr Hina Shahid says there has been similar reports of discrimination published over the past two decades.
She says there are striking similarities between South Africa’s and the UK’s discrimination reports.
“We know that for doctors who belong to a racialized minority in the UK, the experiences around unfair outcomes start very early on. So, they start actually in medical school where medical students who are from a black, Asian or minority ethnic background are more likely to face racial harassment and when they raise concerns, they are not likely to be taken seriously.”
Dr Shahid says there have been calls for greater awareness and action against discrimination against Indian, Black and Coloured doctors.
“It’s a real shame, its something that a lot of organizations and individuals in the UK have been campaigning on for about two decades now. We are beginning to see a slight shift, but there is still so much work to be done. Now there is a lot more awareness, but unfortunately it took a huge tragedy.”
She says Muslim doctors in the UK are also treated differently because of their religion.
“We’ve actually been doing research on this and findings that we’ve seen absolutely points towards this. So, if you are a Muslim healthcare professional, you are likely to be discriminated and harassed and bullied. Again, similar to what we’ve seen with ethnic minority healthcare professionals. But on top of that you have an added penalty and added layer of humiliation which is that you are not just an ethnic minority but you are also Muslim.”
Dr Shahid investigations against doctors has a serious mental impact on the physicians driving them to ending their lives adding that there has to be a support structure for the professionals.
Listen to the interview with Dr. Hina Shahid.