March 12, 2010

Medical Defence Shield to help doctors of Indian origin in the UK

Doctors of Indian origin working for the National Health Service will now have help at hand, if in difficulty, and will be able to report cases of racial discrimination and harassment to a professional body of peers.

On Monday, the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) launched a project, Medical Defence Shield (MDS), to provide its members with “comprehensive support.” The association said that MDS would offer doctors advice in employment and professional issues as well as representation on complaints of bullying, harassment and discrimination.

“The members of the scheme will be able to access advice from an experienced team of doctors with a legal background,” BAPIO president Ramesh Mehta said, describing it as a “landmark” initiative to help the ethnic minority doctors.

The association said there were more than 40,000 doctors of Indian origin in the NHS, and there was a growing demand for a service sensitive to their concerns, especially those relating to racial discrimination and bullying.

“The Chief Medical Officer of England, in his recent Annual Report, acknowledged that the migrant doctors working in the NHS face discrimination and bullying. The MDS has been devised to fill a huge gap in professional services available to ethnic minority doctors,” the BAPIO said in a statement.

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