Saturday, July 9, 2011

Colour code your Doctor and live longer

Dear Doctor Max Price, Vice-chancellor of the University of Cape Town,
          "Mrs Smith I'm the hospital Superintendent and I'm sorry to have to tell you that Doctor Nzimande gave you a hysterectomy instead of removing your appendix. But it wasn't his fault because he got his doctor's degree at the University of Cape Town."
        “I’m her son and I can’t believe what you have just told her Superintendent. Are you saying that because he is Black this kind of monumental muck up is excusable?"
        "I'm afraid so. And what's more the Government has passed a new law that prevents anybody suing a Black doctor for damages in cases  of this kind."
          That’s an example of the kind of conversation that patients might hear in hospitals all over South Africa unless they colour code their doctors. As is always the case the poor will suffer the most because they will not have a choice of doctors at our run down Government hospitals while the rich will be able to pick and choose.
          Your University I see Dr Price is leading the way with the most rigid of racially divided criteria for the admission of medical students. And similar policies have been adopted at other universities throughout the country.
          But your one takes the Master Race Prize for sheer unadulterated prejudice. Is it based on the same scientific formula that the Nazi’s adopted for getting rid of the Jews?
          Alright I know that Blacks were discriminated against in all walks of life under the previous White Government’s apartheid policy. But that was 17 years ago and since then we have had a Black Government that preaches equal opportunity for all. 
          It looks as though your University’s research has arrived at the brilliant new concept that two wrongs do make a right.
        How equal is this? Your University expects Whites and Indians to get an 80% mark before they can even be considered for admission to your Medical School. Blacks are regarded as such dunces that they only need 60%.
          Isn’t that another kind of prejudice all on its own?
          It galls me to think that if only I was Black I might be able to become a doctor now although that 60% might be a bit beyond me. But I do come from a broken home and while he was around my father was a serious drunk and family basher. So surely these would be good enough excuses to compensate for my lack of marks.
          According to The Times you justify the policy because you say the school system is in a mess. Presumably you are referring to the Government schools. And who do you think is responsible for this mess as you call it. It’s the Black Government of course.
          The unfairness happens in the schools, you believe, not at universities. Of course there’s no sign of it being perpetuated at your University is there?
          Black school children don’t have the same advantages as Whites like the internet and parents helping them with homework. You give these reasons for favouring Blacks when they apply to enter your Medical School.
          To look only at marks would be unfair to disadvantaged students, you say. If only they had had that philosophy when I was at school.
          If you are just going on Colour how you do know that some of your White applicants haven’t come from poor backgrounds and those rubbish schools you talk about? And by not going strictly on marks you are allowing people to get qualifications based on Colour rather than ability.
          It is this kind of dangerous thinking that has already done untold damage to our business and Government structures because people have been employed in all kinds of jobs purely on their Blackness.
          Now you are nurturing a host of medics with dodgy qualifications who are expected to take the right life saving decisions for trusting patients. And in the background Whites who have passed matric with seven distinctions are sitting on the sidelines hoping for a place. Others have completed BSc and PhD degrees while they’ve been waiting but they still can’t get into a medical school. It’s sickening.
          I was hard pressed to think of any profession that is worse than medicine in which to conduct social engineering experiments. People’s lives are at stake but who cares if some patients die in the interests of uplifting the Black downtrodden.
          In the same edition of The Times that I have referred to there is a letter from your University’s director of marketing, Gerda Kruger in which she says your University’s mission speaks about our aim to produce graduates whose qualifications are internationally recognised.
          Surely the Black doctors you produce will not be able to compete in first world countries with a background of having gained entry to your University on the basis of having the highest marks for Colour.
          Disappointedly yours,
          Jon, Not Black enough to be a Doctor or perhaps anything else.
PS. In my humble opinion your policy needs major surgery. 

Buy my book 'Where have all the children gone? ' on   It's a thriller with an underlying love story that defied generations of prejudice.

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