THE GMC has reported a "slight" reduction in the gap between employer referral rates for ethnic minority doctors and international medical graduates compared to white doctors in its first update on equality, diversity and inclusion targets.
The report found that the proportion of designated bodies with fitness to practise referrals that were disproportionate in terms of ethnicity or UK/international qualification dropped about 5 per cent, from 5.6 per cent in the five-year period to 2020 to 5.3 per cent in the five years to 2021.
The gap in employer fitness to practise referral rates between ethnic minority licenced doctors and white doctors fell from 0.28 per cent during 2016-2020 to 0.24 per cent during 2017-2021.
Fairness measures for medical education and training remain at similar levels.
The GMC has set targets to eliminate disproportionate complaints from employers about ethnic minority doctors by 2026, and to eradicate disadvantage and discrimination in medical education and training by 2031.
GMC Chief Executive, Charlie Massey, said: "The early indications are good, but we are not complacent. Much more needs to be done. The issues are longstanding, and the incremental changes that are being made may take time to work through to the data."
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA chair of council, commented on the report: "While today’s first update from the GMC on its EDI targets shows some areas of progress, disparities continue to affect doctors with many still suffering due to unequal treatment. There is still a long way to go.
"Disappointingly, the report also shows that there has been no improvement in postgraduate differential attainment, which affects the career progression of ethnic minority doctors, and has resulted in an ethnicity pay gap. This demands radical action and, as pointed out in this report, relevant stakeholders – including medical royal colleges – must do all they can to ensure exams are culturally competent and reduce inequality in medical training."