NRI women don't trust Indian docs in UK

NRI women don't trust Indian docs in UK

Breach of confidentiality


This reluctance to consult Asian family doctors has caused concern among Britain’s health officials who believe that the sexual health of young Asian women may be at risk.
The women feel they cannot trust doctors from their own ethnic background on the culturally sensitive issue.

One such case of a breach of confidentiality involved a young woman called “K,” who told the BBC: “I was 17 and I wanted to go and talk to my GP (general practitioner) about contraception because I was hitting that age. That information got back to my mum within two weeks.”

Asian women who need to go to a doctor prefer to approach non-Indian or non-Asian doctors, who they believe will not leak their sexual health issues to their community.
“K” said: “I would go out of my local area where there weren’t any Asian people working so that I could just simply buy some contraception.

Unfortunately, if there is an Asian face behind the counter then more often than not I’m made to feel as though I’m doing something wrong.”

Social stigma
A woman named Sunita said: “First, you’re having intercourse before marriage. Secondly, what if someone else has seen you walk into a clinic or knows you’ve had sex? What will other people say? (If information comes out) then the whole family will be looked down upon.”

Penny Barber, chief executive of the Brook Advisory Centre in Birmingham, which provides free contraception to under-25s, says she has seen an increase in the number of British Asians coming to the clinic instead of going to their own family doctors.

The Royal College of General Practitioners chairman Professor Steve Field said: “All healthcare professionals are privy to sensitive information relating to the health of their patients, and patients share information with their doctor with the expectation that it will remain confidential.”

Barber added that there were instances of people trying to impersonate clients to try to gain access to their information and those are more likely to be from an Asian background.

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