CMO calls for action to tackle racial inequalities in medicine

Action needs to be taken to tackle racial inequalities in medicine, says Chief Medical Officer for England Sir Liam Donaldson.

Sir Liam Donaldson
Sir Liam Donaldson

This year's report calls for a mentorship scheme for doctors from ethnic minorities and for the GMC and Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board (PMETB) to develop guidelines to ensure equality and diversity are included in medical curricula.

Sir Liam presented evidence showing that mortality rates are significantly higher for UK-based doctors born in Africa than those born in the UK.

Additionally, non-white doctors are the most likely to live in deprived areas. Data from the Office of National Statistics shows that 14 per cent of non-white doctors live in the most deprived areas of the UK, compared with 8 per cent of white doctors.

Some improvements are being made, with a growing proportion of ethnic minority doctors becoming consultants before the age of 30, said Sir Liam.

‘But there is still work to be done,' he added. ‘We still hear anecdotal accounts of people who have been disadvantaged by their ethnicity.'

On the State of Public Health: 2007 Annual Report of the CMO

rachel.liddle@haymarket.com

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