Declaration of Berlin on Racism in Medicine

Racism In Medicine
Racism In Medicine

Racism in all its forms exists in medicine throughout the world and has a direct impact on patients and their health, the World Medical Association said today. In a new Declaration adopted at its annual General Assembly in Berlin, the WMA acknowledges that racism is structural and deeply engrained in health care and that this is a public health threat.

The statement, entitled the Declaration of Berlin, says that physicians from marginalized communities face racism from patients, other physicians, and health professionals.

WMA President Dr. Osahon Enabulele said: ‘Systemic racism is totally unacceptable. It can create barriers to entry to the medical profession for certain historically excluded groups, leading to a lack of representation. This leads to adverse health outcomes for patients and persistent health inequities. A medical profession that is representative of the population is crucial to addressing health disparities among patients’.

The new WMA policy criticises medical journals for being remiss in addressing the issue of racism and its impact on health inequities.

The Association is now urging its member associations and all physicians to commit to dismantling racist policies and practices in health care and to advocate for anti-racist policies and practices that support equity in health care and social justice.

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