To: Health Professions Council, Minister of Health

Stop the bullying of junior doctors

This shocking video by Yumna Moosa exposes the systematic bullying, and culture of sexism and racism within medicine.

We call on you to:

- End the systematic culture of abuse in medicine. No one should have to keep their head down to save their career, when they encounter bullying, sexism or racism.

- Ensure the feedback section in the internship log books is not removed, so that interns can monitor and expose incidents of abuse.

- Investigate the culture of bullying against junior doctors, and ensure new processes and regulations are put in place to allow junior doctors to report sexism, racism and discrimination, without fear of their careers being put in jeopardy.

Why is this important?

In a country like South Africa, we can't allow an 'old boys' club to bully and sabotage anyone who speaks out against racism or sexism. It's alarming that this happens in our health system.

The fact that a senior doctor advised Yumna to destroy her internship logbook [1], shows there is a huge cover up within medicine to silence those who speak out.

After Yumna lodged a complaint about her experiences, she was targetted by her Head of Department who refused to sign off on her internship. While the Health Professions Council of South Africa overturned the Head of Department's decision, what is clear is that the 'old boys' club that exists within medicine sabotages those who dare speak out against sexism and racism.

For this to occur in a profession that is first and foremost there to create a healthier and safe South Africa, is alarming. Respect should be a non-negotiable value in our health system.