A receptionist has been praised for ‘shutting down’ a patient who said they didn’t want an ‘Asian doctor’.
A GP surgery in Glasgow had a patient come in, asking to book a doctor’s appointment, before adding: ‘I don’t want an Asian doctor’.
However, the surgery’s receptionist had the perfect response, replying: ‘she is Scottish, what do Scottish people look like’, before the patient remarked: ‘she doesn’t look Scottish’.
The receptionist had silenced the patient, who ended up taking the appointment card they’d been offered.
Overhearing the conversation, Dr Punam Krishan then shared it on Twitter, (January 15), praising her colleague for how they handled the situation.
Dr Krishnan wrote:
Patient ‘I don’t want an Asian doctor’
Receptionist ‘she is Scottish’
Patient ‘she doesn’t look Scottish’
Receptionist ‘what do Scottish people look like?’
Silence. Appointment card taken. So proud of my team.
Patient “I don’t want an Asian doctor”
Receptionist “she is Scottish”
Patient “she doesn’t look Scottish.”
Receptionist “what do Scottish people look like?”
— Dr Punam Krishan (@DrPunamKrishan) January 15, 2019
The tweet has received, at the time of writing (January 17), over 92,000 likes and 16,000 retweets, with the majority of people showing their support for the receptionist, and her response.
One person, who stated they were a nurse, replied:
I would ban her for life from the surgery. I mean it. These people need to goddamn remember their bloody manners.
We get free healthcare. If she wants to choose a doctor she can go fucking private. I refused a patient in A & E for that until they basically begged for forgiveness.
I would ban her for life from the surgery. I mean it. These people need to goddamn remember their bloody manners. We get free healthcare. If she wants to choose a doctor she can go fucking private. I refused a patient in a&e for that until they basically begged for forgiveness.
— Deb (@nursiedeb) January 16, 2019
While another added:
Got to love my Indian GP. I went to see her about feeling a bit uncomfortable in my gut. She listened and took me seriously.
A prostate cancer diagnosis followed. Five weeks later after my op, I’m on the mend. Thanks to her. And people like you.
Got to love my Indian GP. I went to see her about feeling a bit uncomfortable in my gut. She listened & took me seriously. A prostate cancer diagnosis followed. 5 weeks later after my op, I'm on the mend. Thanks to her. And people like you.👍
— Kevin Patrick #FBPE #PeoplesVote (@KevinPatrick7) January 15, 2019
A fellow Tweeter commented:
I was born in Ghana and didn’t come to live in the UK until I was 7 but because I’m white no one questions my nationality.
And yet people of colour who were born here have to deal with this s**t every day. That’s white privilege right there and it’s utterly shameful.
I was born in Ghana & didn't come to live in the UK until I was 7 but because I'm white no one questions my nationality. And yet poc who were born here have to deal with this s**t every day. That's white privilege right there & it's utterly shameful.
— Natasha York (@IndyTash) January 17, 2019
Speaking to BBC Scotland about the incident, Dr Krishnan said unfortunately, it isn’t the first time she’s experienced such attitudes:
I am aware that it happens across the board but we rarely talk about it. There is no reason or place for it. I have had a very positive response which is so uplifting.
Scotland is my home. It is a beautiful, multicultural, diverse nation and ultimately, we all need to work together for something like the NHS.
Disease does not pick a gender and disease does not pick a colour. When you strip it back we are all human. It is important to treat the person before me and see that they are safe and well.
It is not right to turn someone away who needs help. My receptionist put this person in their place and they left with some food for thought.
Well said Dr Krishnan, there’s no place for racism.
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Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.