Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) medics and healthcare workers say "systemic discrimination" on the frontline of the coronavirus outbreak may be a factor in the disproportionate number of their colleagues who have died after contracting the novel virus.
In a survey carried out by ITV News, the UK's BAME healthcare community - respondents, who were of different ethnicity and roles in the NHS were asked why they thought more of their BAME colleagues are dying than their white counterparts. The government has not published an official breakdown of NHS deaths by ethnicity, but the investigation found that the number of BAME NHS staff who died in England, was seven times higher than white workers.
It is reported that 'institutional racism' has meant that risks to members of the BAME community are not included in health messages about coronavirus.
Black men and women are nearly twice as likely to die with coronavirus as white people in England and Wales, according to the UK's Office for National Statistics. Although the analysis doesn't address the impact of exposure at work or current health conditions. Behind each of the statistics to have come out of the ITV News survey, is a personal experience and the 4,000 comments provided by respondents has given insight into the experiences of BAME medics and healthcare workers able to speak out about the outbreak through an anonymous platform. Of those surveyed, 85 per cent said they are more scared as a result of disproportionate deaths of BAME medics.
In a statement, an NHS England spokesperson said: "This is a new virus, and while we await the findings of the Public Health England investigations into the impact of Covid-19 on people from BAME backgrounds, the NHS has already asked every trust to take the precautionary measures of risk-assessing staff at potentially greater risk and making appropriate staffing." [Source ITV]