List starkly illustrates the toll covid-19 has had on the Black and Minority Ethnic community
Today, The BMJ publishes a memorial page to doctors across the UK who have died while working during the covid-19 pandemic.
The list, compiled and verified by the British Medical Association (BMA) is in memory of those who have lost their lives to covid-19 while in the line of duty. It highlights especially the devastating toll on doctors from a Black and Minority Ethnic background, including many migrant workers on whom the NHS depends.
Tomorrow (Tuesday 15 September) the BMA will hold a virtual memorial ceremony and one minute’s silence to remember all healthcare workers who have died during the pandemic, at its virtual Annual Representative Meeting. The ceremony will take place at 10.45am, with the minute’s silence at 11am. To take part visit bma.org.uk/arm2020
Fiona Godlee, editor in chief at The BMJ said: “This page honours doctors who have lost their lives working for the good of others under the most difficult of circumstances in this covid-19 pandemic. Each name represents an irreplaceable gap in a family and a workplace.
“No one should have to risk their lives or health because of their work, and we honour those who have paid this ultimate sacrifice,” she adds. “In doing so we commit to all efforts that will bring this pandemic to an end and that will ensure the safety and well being of everyone working on the front line of healthcare.”
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair, said: “The death of a fellow doctor is always tragic, but to lose so many at the hands of the virus is devastating. We offer our profound sorrow and heartfelt condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of these committed clinicians who cared for patients in the most challenging of times, battling against this highly infectious and deadly virus.
“The vast majority who have sadly died are from a BAME background, with many coming from overseas to contribute their valuable skills and expertise to the NHS to save the lives of others, only to tragically lose their own.”
He adds: “During the pandemic the dedication, bravery and compassion of all healthcare workers has shone through in the fight against the coronavirus. We must never allow our BAME colleagues to be taken for granted or disadvantaged. The NHS has a duty of care to protect its workforce from harm.
“We owe them our gratitude, our respect, and a pledge that we will remember them.”