RACIAL discrimination “will push more vital staff out of the NHS” unless more is done to tackle the problem, a leading doctor has warned.

Dr Raj Padmanabhan, a consultant anaesthetist and the first chair of BMA Scotland’s Race Equality Forum, was responding to a landmark report by the BMA which found that a third of ethnic minority doctors across the UK, and 42 per cent of Black and 41% of Asian doctors in particular, have left or considered quitting as a result of prejudice in the workplace.

Of all respondents to the survey, 276 (13.6 per cent) were medics based in Scotland.

READ MORE: Thousands stranded in A&E amid record bed and nurse shortages

Dr Padmanabhan said: “First and foremost, this behaviour and some of the barriers that doctors from ethnic minorities face is simply wrong. We must condemn it and tackle it as a moral imperative.

“But it is also a real concern that, at a time when we are short of doctors and at risk of losing more to burn out and exhaustion, discriminatory behaviour will push more vital staff out of the NHS.”

The report highlights institutional barriers to career progression, especially for those who qualified in medicine overseas, dangerously low levels of reporting of racist incidents, and a growing mental health burden.

READ MORE: Scotland's radiologist shortfall set to hit 30 per cent by 2026

Respondents described patients refusing to be treated by them because their names “did not sound British”; being “viewed as a troublemaker” for reporting racism; and “continued mispronunciation” of their names.

It comes after a Scottish-specific survey in November last year found similar issues, including doctors from ethnic minorities being more likely to have to make multiple applications for post before being successfully appointed.

Dr Padmanabhan said he has since had a “productive meeting” with the Scottish Government to set out priorities such as staff training on unconscious bias and improving data collection on race in the NHS.