Responding to today’s review by Baroness Doreen Lawrence on the devastating impact of Covid-19 on BAME communities, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair, said:
“As Baroness Lawrence has shown, racism breeds health inequalities which in turn affects our patients and colleagues, and at worst, kills. One third of intensive care beds continue to be occupied by seriously ill BAME patients – no improvement from six months ago.
“Today’s report emphasises even more what the BMA has been saying since the pandemic began - that so much more must be done to protect at-risk groups.
“We’re pleased that the report – which the BMA contributed to – shares our view about what the Government needs to do to reverse the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on members of these communities. We also need to see Covid-19 risk assessments for all health and social care workers strengthened to help give staff the necessary protections they need at work. We need to have data collected which shows the infection information broken down by ethnicity and more data linking occupation and ethnicity, both of which the report also calls for.
“The Government responded to our concerns about how the virus is impacting BAME people, earlier this year, by commissioning a review from PHE. While the Government published its long overdue progress report last week, it is clear that the response continues to fall short of what is needed. We need to see a tangible plan that will protect lives now by implementing the BMA and others’ recommendations in full.”
Notes to editors
The BMA is a trade union and professional association representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.
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