Healthcare workers Stand in Solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter

Dr. Kamini Doobay, M.D., speaks at the citywide demonstrations of healthcare workers at New York City hospitals. Photo donated.

Published on PTLN 6-14-20

Healthcare workers stand in solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter

Interview by Sandy Reid

Editor’s note: The People’s Tribune spoke with Dr. Kamini Doobay, M.D., about the citywide demonstrations of healthcare workers at New York City hospitals in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. Below is an excerpt from her remarks.

On June 4, 2020 healthcare workers at Bellevue, Kings County, Lincoln, Jacobi, and Montefiore Hospitals demonstrated across New York City in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. It was organized by a group of physicians and nurses citywide, and sponsored by the Committee for Interns and Residents, New York State Nurses Association, and the NYC Coalition to Dismantle Racism in the Health System.

Primarily, we hope to name racism and police brutality as public health emergencies. And, as physicians, we realize that police officers are often tasked with addressing issues of public health, such as homelessness, substance abuse, and mental health disorders, however, they are not equipped to do so. And so often that leads to the cycling of black and brown people within a flawed criminal justice system. So we must address this from a public health standpoint with public health solutions to public health problems, knowing we can no longer be silent as a medical community, and stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.

We also shed light on segregated care in NYC where so often uninsured and underinsured patients are left out of the hospital system altogether because of a for-profit insurance system. And in this city and country, race is linked to insurance, so often black and brown patients are bearing the weight of this burden. So we are also shedding light on segregated care in NYC.

Our aim is to improve the health system and the public health system and dismantle racism.

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