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'Indian doctors among victims of abuse in UK'

Indian doctors are among medical professionals in Britain's National Health Service (NHS) who have faced physical and verbal abuse while performing their duties.

india Updated: Feb 24, 2008 08:38 IST

Indian doctors are among medical professionals in Britain's National Health Service (NHS) who have faced physical and verbal abuse while performing their duties.

A survey by the British Medical Association (BMA) revealed that a third of doctors in the NHS had experienced some form of violence - including threats and verbal abuse - and one in ten had been physically attacked, including being stabbed, kicked, punched, bitten and spat at.

Speaking for the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO), Joydeep Grover, an Indian-origin doctor who works in the Accidents and Emergency sections in the NHS, told PTI: "We would support the BMA report on violence in the workplace. As it points out, medical personnel have a right to work in a non-threatening and dignified environment."

He added that violence against doctors was not always physical in nature, but was more frequently verbal. He added that there was no clear evidence that ethnic minority doctors were more liable to suffer from such abuse, "but certainly racial language is still heard in various circumstances".

Grover said that occasionally patients demanded to be seen by white doctors, and some, especially older ones can be overtly abusive. However, he added that most hospital trusts had very well structured policies against racist behaviour by patients, and if the matter is raised the patients are strictly dealt with.