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Indian doc wins #635,000 in race bias damages

A tribunal ruled in July that Vijay Jadhav was discriminated against becoming a hospital consultant because of his race.

india Updated: Dec 27, 2003 23:18 IST
Nabanita Sircar
Nabanita Sircar

An Indian doctor Vijay Jadhav has won record damages against the Department of Health after he was told he could not become a hospital consultant.

An employment tribunal ruled in July that Vijay Jadhav was discriminated against because of his race. The Department of Health had originally planned to appeal against the ruling but has now decided against the move and agreed to pay damages of £635,000.

Dr Jadhav, 45, a staff grade doctor, was told he could not train to become a consultant. The reason given was that his visa would run out before the completion of his his training.

After an employment tribunal ruled in July that this discriminated against Dr Jadhav, the Department of Health has changed the rules to allow doctors in similar positions to train to become consultants.

The sum awarded to Dr Jadhav is the largest in the history of NHS in such cases. The sum of £635,000 was decided based on Dr Jadhav's potential loss of earnings.

Dr Jadhav came to the UK in 1993 and would have become a consultant by 1999 in normal course, earning a much higher salary. In addition, he could have also earned through private practice.

The Department of Health said it decided to settle the case and not appeal against it in order to avoid any further legal costs. A spokeswoman said the money would be better spent on implementing the new rules. "The Department of Health did take steps to appeal against the decision of the tribunal but took a pragmatic view of this case in the light of its exceptional nature, offsetting the cost of payment to Mr Jadhav against any potential legal costs, preferring to concentrate its resources on the implementation of the new procedures. It, therefore, settled the case on December 15, on the basis of reports commissioned by the department and taking into account the need to compensate Mr Jadhav for loss of earnings in private practice. "

Dr Jadhav was happy with the decision but said: "This whole ordeal has been terrible. I have the experience and training to be a good surgeon and I am extremely disappointed that I have been deprived of fulfilling this goal.

"The level of hostility and unfairness that has been shown towards me has been beyond belief. No amount of money can bring back those lost years."

His lawyer Sadiq Khan said: "It is quite clear that policies that have been applied in the UK have had a devastating effect on the career prospects of overseas doctors.

"At a time when the UK is crying out for consultants and surgeons generally it is astonishing that well-qualified overseas doctors have been deprived of the opportunity to become surgeons."

First Published: Dec 24, 2003 21:35 IST