DOCTORS at Bundaberg Hospital are taking a stand after their colleagues have faced racial taunts at work and while in public.
The NewsMail understands the slurs included a doctor being called a “f***ing curry muncher”, requests by patients not to be treated by “dark-skinned doctors” and a phone call from a member of the public demanding the hospital sack all the foreign-trained doctors.
About 60 hospital staff members gathered outside the hospital while on a break yesterday to show support for colleagues who had been racially abused.
Bundaberg Hospital director of medical services Michael Hills said the number of racial slurs had increased since the airing of a segment last week on a popular current affairs program.
He said the taunts took place over the phone and from a “few isolated visitors to the hospital”.
“What saddens me the most was that one of the doctors was also a victim of racial abuse by an individual in a local supermarket in front of his wife and kids,” Dr Hills said.
“I would like to thank the member of the public who witnessed this and came to the aid of the doctor and his family.” The NewsMail understands a large majority of the 105 doctors who work at the Bundaberg Hospital were trained overseas.
Dr Hills said the hospital would not tolerate any kind of racial slurs directed towards the staff and any incident would be referred to police.
He said the hospital would also be speaking with police to discuss how to reduce the risk to staff.
Dr Hills, who was trained in Britain, said doctors trained in countries other than Australia played a vital role in providing health care to the city.
“They live in the community with the people they treat,” he said.
“No matter where they are from, where they trained, they are a part of the Bundaberg community.”
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