A British Chinese junior doctor has received support from senior NHS chiefs, MPs and the public after a patient refused to be treated by him because of his race.
Dr Alex Lee revealed on Twitter that he had personally experienced the anti-Chinese racism that has surfaced during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Had my first patient refuse to see me because I’m Chinese. Insisted on a White team. Seniors were amazing and stood up for me; the zero tolerance was made clear. Still a really bitter pill to swallow...” he said.
Had my first patient refuse to see me because I’m Chinese. Insisted on a White team.
Seniors were amazing and stood up for me; the zero tolerance was made clear.
Still a really bitter pill to swallow...#MedTwitter#FY1
— Dr Alex (@Aleexxies) October 16, 2020
Dr Lee, who trained at King’s College London, received an outpouring of support on the social media platform after revealing how he’d been treated.
Professor Stephen Powis, NHS England’s medical director and its most senior clinician, praised the junior doctor and his colleagues for their reaction to the incident.
Prof Powis told HuffPost UK: “Racism in any form is completely unacceptable and NHS leaders and frontline staff are right to challenge and report such incidents so that a zero tolerance approach is taken.
“The new NHS Race and Health Observatory has been established to identify and help tackle the specific challenges facing people from BAME backgrounds.”
Care minister Helen Whately said: “It’s awful to hear about Dr Alex’s experience – racist behaviour has no place in our NHS.
“Anyone who suffers or witnesses discrimination should report it and NHS organisations must take action. I am glad to hear that colleagues supported Dr Alex in the face of the unacceptable discrimination he experienced.
“During the greatest public health crisis in a generation, our NHS and social care staff – doctors, nurses, cleaners, porters, mental health teams, ambulance crews, care workers,...