Fighting for justice

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 13 January 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:114
  1. Samena Chaudhry
  1. London

    Despite an amendment to the Race Relations Act in 2000, which sought to make race relations a priority, the NHS still has a long way to go. Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, addresses the BMA

    Last year the BMA took a battering on the issue of racial discrimination. The association was accused of institutional racism by one of its senior members; had to pay out almost £1m ($1.9m; €1.4m) in damages, costs, and interest to one Indian doctor; and was forced to settle another five race discrimination cases for an additional £130 000 (BMJ 2004;329: 161-3

    Since the events that led to the biggest case, the BMA has changed the way in which it offers advice to its members on racial discrimination and is working hard to increase awareness about race issues. To that end, Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, was invited to speak to the BMA council in December. After the meeting, the 51 year old former television presenter spoke to small groups of doctors about the problems the commission was facing.

    Phillips said that complaints from doctors made up one of the largest categories of protests that the commission received. And certain grievances recurred with striking frequency—bullying, lack of access to appropriate training, barriers to …

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