Malaysian Chinese doctor on the frontline at Scarborough Hospital subjected to racist abuse

A Malaysian Chinese doctor working on the NHS’s frontline against coronavirus is urging people to speak out against racism.

Yee Yong See, a respiratory medicine registrar at Scarborough Hospital, says he and colleagues have been encountering prejudice since the pandemic began.

“I just wish the public to react more humanely and not to do anything disheartening to the huge bunch of us from the Far East who are servicing the NHS as health care assistants, cleaners, nurses and doctors,” he said.

Doctor See, 31, started work in the UK in 2015 as a junior doctor and has been working at Scarborough Hospital since August last year.

Dr See and some of his colleagues urging people to speak out against racism.

The coronavirus pandemic has seen his workload increase massively and he is incredibly busy providing medical aid to people from across the area.

But he said he was recently outside Sainsbury’s, where he had been buying milk for his newborn, when he was shouted at by a gang of youths using “vulgar language”.

Just a few days later, about to start a four-day stretch of night shifts, he was in Boots when he was again subjected to racist language.

“There was a middle-aged lady looking for analgesics on one of the aisles. I walked past her, politely uttering 'sorry, excuse me'.

“Her response was outrageous. She critcised me for doing that. I shook my head and ignored her. She decided to go on and on.

“Just when I was about to engage with her with an argument, a gentleman stepped in and asked her to not be racist.

“Another colleague who is Malaysian Chinese as well told me that, while he was doing a patient review over the weekend at Scarborough Hospital, he was told by a patient that the virus came from his kind - Chinese.”

Dr See said he and the rest of his colleagues are facing mounting pressures and extra hours but they are not asking for extra pay, just common courtesy.

He added that hearing another patient wish him well and thank him had really touched him.

“We are not asking for extra pay or additional respect but any disheartening attitudes definitly are not helpful. In contrary, a simple 'thank you and take care' would make our day,” he said.