A former chair of the GDC has been suspended after suggesting that he would not want an African dentist to treat him.
Rashpal Singh Mindair, a former chair of the GDC committee, was slapped with a six-month immediate suspension after a hearing into the racist comments.
This will be followed by a review.
On 1 August 2018, he made comments along the lines of: ‘This is going to sound racist but…’ adding that he would not want to be treated by a dentist from Africa. He was also acting as a practice committee member at the time.
Witnesses also suggest he expressed similar views regarding dentists from Asia and Eastern Europe.
The GDC has recently taken steps to work on equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI).
For example in its new strategy, published a few months ago, it committed to analysing over-representation in Fitness to Practise cases. But the profession is keen to clarify whether this behaviour has impacted how registrants were treated up to now.
Shareena Ilyas is chair of the British Dental Association’s education, ethics and the dental team working group. She said: ‘These sickening comments have absolutely no place in this profession, let alone in our professional regulator.
‘The GDC has taken the right course of action. However, this raises serious questions about decisions taken over the course of years.
Fair treatment needed
She added: ‘An individual harbouring poisonous views was free to hold a privileged position at a health watchdog.
‘Ethnic minority dentists are already more likely to expect referrals from patients. We need cast-iron assurances that safeguards are now in place to ensure fair treatment for all when complaints reach the GDC.’
The GDC have been approached for comment.
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