Foreign-trained doctors file human rights complaint claiming systemic discrimination

Foreign trained doctors

VANCOUVER – A group of internationally-trained physicians and medical graduates have taken their fight against what they call systemic racism in British Columbia’s residency program to the province’s human rights tribunal.

The 33-page complaint, filed earlier this month, names B.C.’s Ministry of Health, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C. (CPSBC) and the University of British Columbia (UBC).

It claims the organizations are working together to restrict international medical graduates and foreign-trained physicians who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents from even being considered for 84 per cent of the resident physician positions in the province, which limits their ability to become practicing doctors, in spite of passing the exams.

They also say international medical graduates can only pursue resident positions in four of the 29 specialties.

“The laws are pretty clear that we are to have an inclusive society, the laws are clear that there’s to be no discrimination without specific legislative authority, none of that exists,” retired lawyer and president of the society for Canadians Studying Medicine Abroad, Rosemary Pawliuk said.

“The way the system is structured, there’s money involved, financial incentives, there’s a double standard; it’s a system that is off the rails,” she added.

The complainants in this human rights case say unless there’s a shift in attitude, B.C. will continue turning its back on this untapped talent pool, in a time of great need for just that.medical students – systemic racism