BAPIO is pleased to announce the launch of our Lancaster Division
MP applauds the work of Ethnic minority doctors
The inauguration of the BAPIO unit in Lancaster was performed by the Hon MP for Lancaster & Fleetwood, Mr Eric Ollerenshaw on 15th March 2013 at the Lancaster house hotel. The function was attended by many doctors from the Indian subcontinent working in both primary and secondary care. Mr George Nasmyth, the medical director of UHMB trust graced the occasion with his presence. Other notable speakers included the BAPIO president Dr Ramesh Mehta, BAPIO chairman Prof. Rajan Madhok and BAPIO vice president Dr Satheesh Mathew.
The evening commenced in a traditional manner with the lighting of the lamp (photo attached). The lamp signifies the arrival of light amongst the darkness of ignorance. Mr Shyam Kumar (Consultant Orthopaedic surgeon, UHMB) welcomed the gathering highlighting the challenges faced by ethnic minority doctors at UHMB trust in terms of equality and integration into the mainstream.
Mr Ollerenshaw stated that almost all his constituents were very pleased by the good services provided by UHMB trust .He thought one of the major challenges facing the trust was its wide geographical area. He called for all politicians from every political party to rise above party differences and support the efforts of doctors, medical and management staff in minimising these challenges. He also raised the issue of access to social care and strengthening of community services thus helping in reduction of the length of hospital stay .He applauded the efforts of all ethnic minority doctors in their contribution to needs of the healthcare needs of the local population.
Mr George Nasmyth, medical director of UHMB addressed the gathering and suggested that the challenge was delivering healthcare in a different fashion as per the needs and expectations of the local population. He called for better ties with Lancaster University in the future to develop a stronger relationship between the medical school and the hospital. He also emphasized the importance of never ways of working utilising newer technologies. He also called for a rethink on the skill sets to be acquired by GP trainees enabling them in delivering the health requirements of the future in the community.
Dr Ramesh Mehta, President of BAPIO acknowledged the creation of the first BAPIO unit at trust level at UHMB as it was the first of its kind in the UK. Dr Mehta appreciated the contribution of the MP & the Medical director and appealed to them to continue their support of ethnic minority doctors in the region. He enumerated the difficulties faced by this group of doctors right from career progression to bullying and harassment. A significant proportion of complaints to the General medical council were against ethnic minority doctors and he noted that most of these complaints did not come from patients and in fact it was from their own colleagues. Some Royal colleges has systems that did not allow doctors from ethnic minority backgrounds to pass exams on an equal footing even though most of the doctors from overseas were from the top 1% of their home countries. BAPIO has asked for a judicial review in this matter.
Prof. R Madhok spoke of the Indo-British collaboration of healthcare and the rise of BAPIO to an international organisation as there were 1.2 million doctors of Indian origin worldwide.
Dr Satheesh Mathew reiterated the difficulties faced by ethnic minority doctors and called for more involvement by them in clinical leadership positions. He also introduced the Medical Defence Shield for doctors and dentists which is a new concept combining the roles of medical indemnity and employment support as a single product which is available for ethnic and non-ethnic minority doctors and dentists. Dr Mathew assured strong support to doctors in employment matters including bullying and harassment at the workplace.
Mr Amit Kochhar thanked the speakers for their valuable contributions. The participants benefitted enormously from their experience and called for more such supportive events. The central leadership of BAPIO promised unstinted support to their members working in UHMB and also extended the offer of cooperation to UHMB trust to work together for providing a better healthcare system to the local population.
Mr Shyam Kumar
Mr Amit Kochar
Coordinators – BAPIO Lancaster Division
PS: Pictures of the event for publication are available on request