BAME Health Matters was set up in response to the widespread health inequities experienced by Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities across the UK.
Structural racism and unconscious biases are deeply ingrained in our healthcare system. Under-representation of minority ethnic groups occurs at every level of the system, from biomedical research to the medical curriculum, which can lead to disproportionately higher rates of certain illnesses and death in BAME populations.
We are a collective of diverse professionals from across the healthcare space who have united to make a tangible difference in the lives of BAME communities in the UK. With a strong feeling that this could only be achieved through diverse representation, our platform aims to unite healthcare professionals, academics, scientists, activists, policy makers and anyone with an interest in discussing, addressing and tackling how racism and discrimination affects healthcare.
Our work largely focuses on the following: patient services and systems for BAME groups, medical education (including the diversification of the undergraduate and post-graduate curriculum and anti-racism training) and medical research.
The acronym ‘BAME’ stands for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic, and is an umbrella term used to describe individuals who do not identify as one of the majority White populations of the UK: English / Welsh / Scottish / Northern Irish.
Our work is strongly linked to healthcare institutions such as the NHS, who recognise and advise the use of the terms BAME or BME. We therefore use the term BAME in our organisation’s name to clearly define the population we are advocating for, in a language easily interpreted by our target institutions. However, we recognise the limitations of the term BAME, which inherently places all minority ethnic individuals into one homogenous group irrespective of the ethnicity they identify with.
We recognise and respect the differences between minority ethnic groups and do not equate the experiences of different BAME populations with one another due to the BAME collective grouping. All the work we undertake clearly defines which minority ethnic groups are being focused on, and we do not project the findings of any work onto other populations purely based on their status as a BAME group. We recognise white minority ethnic groups within the BAME term.