The chair of the British Medical Association’s council has said doctors in the island tell him they are working under a 'culture of fear'.
Professor Philip Banfield was invited to the island by the Isle of Man Medical Society, a visit which coincided with the conclusion of the Dr Rosalind Ranson tribunal.
Speaking this lunchtime, Professor Banfield said Dr Ranson’s case was ‘very disturbing’ and praised her courage for standing up for what she believed to be right.
He said: ‘I met with the doctors of the island last night and what was really alarming was the description of the culture of fear that they work under.
‘I had 60 doctors in the room and it was a universal comment that they live in fear of raising concerns, that bullying seems to be endemic and when we look at Dr Ranson’s case, it incredibly disappointing that a doctor who is extremely competent, doing their job trying to save lives during the Covid pandemic was not only ignored and prevented from raising her concerns with government, but then is vilified for doing so.
‘That is not only completely unacceptable, but it also really asks questions about how your health and social care service is run and what the interaction is between the people that run that system and your politicians.’
Professor Banfield said that the BMA recognises it needs to do more to stand up for doctors working in the island.
He added: ‘Here was a doctor desperately trying to save lives in an uncertain situation at the start of the pandemic, using the evidence that was available to her, to lockdown, provide care and it is shocking that people died unnecessarily because of her being ignored and that then continued to lead to the destruction of her career.
‘That is just unacceptable, but what is more unacceptable is the suspicion that this is systemic, this is wider spread, not just within the Isle of Man, but reaches out into the UK.’
Professor Banfield said he intends to raise the case of Dr Ranson with the UK’s Health Secretary and the Justice Secretary, who is responsible for the good governance of the Crown Dependencies.
A statement from Manx Care said: 'Developing a positive working culture is one of Manx Care’s four key priorities, and something that the organisation has worked incredibly hard to change since its inception just over two years ago.
'We are very proud of what has been achieved collectively with our colleagues to date in terms of the cultural improvements we have made, yet we recognise how much there is still to do, and that this won’t be achieved quickly.
'We remain firmly committed to improving the culture of our organisation, ensuring that all of our colleagues feel psychologically safe and supported to raise any concerns that they have.'