The Muslim Doctors Association is pleased to support the GMC’s protected characteristics campaign. The data the GMC already collects on gender and race is invaluable and has already been utilised to tackle inequalities in education and training. The GMC has produced powerful data on race and ‘differential attainment’ which is regularly presented to stakeholders to influence change. However there is a paucity of data on doctors with other protected characteristics such as religion.
Doctors of faith are racially diverse and we believe it is no longer appropriate to depend upon race as a proxy measure for faith. We currently lack awareness of the numbers of doctors adhering to different religions with a licence to practice in the United Kingdom or the numbers of doctors of each faith group referred to fitness to practice panels – this campaign will change all that, enabling further research into inequality in medical education and training.
According to the 2015 Kings Fund Report ‘Making the Difference – Diversity and Inclusion in the NHS’, NHS staff from all religions report experiencing discrimination on the basis of their faith and reporting is highest among Muslims. With better data on religion we will be able to understand whether religious discrimination affects doctors’ experiences of training or speciality pathways or fitness to practice procedures and this will ensure that practices are fair and transparent and that organisations such as ours have the data to lobby for this. So please support this campaign and our organisations by providing your data upon request. Many organisations have requested this data and the GMC have listened so let us make fair training a reality for all.