Glasgow & West Scotland

Patient who objected to 'Asian doctor' silenced by receptionist

Dr Punam Krishan Image copyright Dr Punam Krishan
Image caption Dr Punam Krishan said she has found the response to her tweet "uplifting"

A GP has praised the receptionist at a Glasgow surgery for silencing a patient who said they did not want to see an "Asian doctor".

Dr Punam Krishan took to Twitter to express her pride in her team - and described the positive response to her post as "uplifting".

She said the receptionist had explained that Dr Krishan was Scottish, only to be told: "She doesn't look Scottish."

The receptionist then replied: "What do Scottish people look like?"

Dr Krishan said this silenced the patient, who then took their appointment card.

She told BBC Scotland that this was not the first time she had experienced such attitudes.

"I am aware that it happens across the board but we rarely talk about it," she said.

"There is no reason or place for it."

Last summer she wrote a column for The Scotsman about GP burnout, but the comments on the newspaper's website had to be disabled after it was targeted by racist comments.

Dr Krishan described the backlash in a follow-up article for the Huffington Post in which she admitted being "haunted" by some of the remarks.

'So uplifting'

However, she said she had been encouraged by the reaction to her latest post, which has received more than 54,000 likes and been retweeted more than 8,400 times in 24 hours.

"I have had a very positive response which is so uplifting," she said.

"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."

Her tweet was praised by NHS Million, which describes itself as a grassroots campaign to celebrate the NHS.

Duty of care

It tweeted: "NHS staff deserve respect at all times regardless of whether they are Scottish, Asian, or anything else.

"Please RT if you agree and let's show racist people that their utter nonsense will not be tolerated."

Some comments suggested that the individual should have been told to find a new GP practice.

However, Dr Krishan said she did not discriminate and has a duty of care to her patients.

"It is important to treat the person before me and see that they are safe and well," she added.

"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."

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