Discrimination in
Health Care and Medicine




despite caregiver retirement
risk recognize lose/lost/lost
insult fight (2) supervisor
stupid oppress frequently
afraid deal (2) xenophobia
care (2) violence master (2)
facility common not uncommon
poll and so on representative
survey support international
main exclusion interview (2)
based research in advance
topic describe discrimination
involve improve interviewee
goal (2) area (3) comfortable (2)
stay after all patient (2)
clinic confident rheumatology
bit (2) internal receive (2)
glad fairness in good hands
hand organize atmosphere (2)
nice colleague paperwork
recruit staff (2) all over the world
skill shortage remain (2)
fill dedicate appreciate
outset attempt department
abroad suppress contact person
offer active (2) take care of
breathe workshop two-thirds
concern potential throw/threw/thrown
rate integrate throw in the deep end of the pool
accept condition bring/brought/brought
justice geriatric fluctuation
network stand up against
superior exclusively


Video: Discrimination in Nursing



Saya is a woman actively fighting racism. She comes from the Philippines and works as a caregiver in a German retirement home.

Saya is not her real name as she doesn’t want to be recognized: she doesn’t want to risk losing her job, despite being frequently insulted by a superior.

Saya, Filipino Nurse: “She called me “A stupid cow”. I said, ‘What?!? What stupid this is she saying? She hated me, she always oppressed me.

But I wasn’t afraid, because I knew what I was doing was right.

She was angry with me and stopped talking to me.

I said, ‘I don’t care; it’s just xenophobia.’”

Saya also had to deal with racist insults — and physical violence.


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Exclusion and racism are not uncommon in German care facilities: a non-representative poll showed that almost two-thirds of the international care professionals surveyed had experienced discrimination or racism at work.

Grace Lugert Jose, Business Psychologist: “For the most part, interviewees described condescension and insults. And these mostly had to do with the fact that they hadn’t yet mastered the German language.”

Grace Lugert-Jose, a Hamburg-based business psychologist is researching the topic. It’s important to her not only to describe how bad conditions are, but also to support anyone involved in improving them.

Grace Lugert Jose, Business Psychologist: “Especially in the area of discrimination and racism, we need to make nurses welcome and comfortable — the main goal, after all, is that they stay here.”


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Nemanja Vasic works at Gottingen University Hospital.

Nemanja Vasic, Gottingen University Hospital, Nurse: “My name is Nemanja Vasic; I come from Serbia. I work in the Department of Internal Medicine and Rheumatology at the University Medical Center Gottingen.”

He wants to stay in Germany. He started here at the clinic six months ago and is now confident in dealing with patients.

He is also mostly well received by them.

Nemanja Vasic, Gottingen University Hospital, Nurse: “It’s a bit high, but not too bad.”
Patient: “Is it still okay?”
Nemanja Vasic: “It’s all right.”
Patient: “Well then, I’m glad.”

Patient: “Because I think it’s important that people from different countries work for us in all areas. And I also feel that I’m in good hands and I think it’s also a matter of fairness and justice.”

Nemanja Vasic, Gottingen University Hospital, Nurse: “The atmosphere is good. You could say things are going well. My colleagues are very nice and helpful. They’re very nice.”


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Gottingen University Hospital has been actively recruiting nursing staff from all over the world for four years. This is because there is a shortage of skilled workers in Germany.

Many jobs, particularly in nursing, remain unfilled.

A dedicated department organizes the recruitment process from the outset — and is there for the new staff from abroad.

Tanja Lochter, Head of Nursing Services, Gottingen University Hospital: “We’ve improved the process and appointed contact persons who deal exclusively with the concerns of the international nursing staff.
Nemanja Vasic, Nursing Specialist, Gottingen University Hospital: “They took very good care of us. We got an apartment, and they helped us with paperwork and so on.”

The new recruits are not thrown in at the deep end; they are offered workshops where they can learn potential differences between the nursing profession in Germany and their home country.

Nurse Trainee: “Breathe in and out properly, OK?”

It’s important that they’re professionally integrated.

Tanja Lochter, Head of Nursing Services, Gottingen University Hospital: “Social integration is even more important, integration into a community, into a city, into an environment, and we try very hard to find out in advance if they have any hobbies or interests.

In the past, the classic integration attempt was, everyone brings a meal from their home country and then you’re friends afterward.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that.”


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The immigrant employee fluctuation rate in Gottingen is very low. Most felt welcome and wanted to stay.

Saya, the Filipino geriatric nurse, who was racially insulted, had a very different experience.

But because she had a supportive local network, she was able to stand up against her superior’s xenophobia.

Saya, Filipino Care Worker: “I said, ‘I can’t go on like this’ and I said ‘I have to do something.’ I will not be suppressed.

I’m the only Filipina on our ward. And I’m happy where I am now. I feel accepted.”

Saya still works in the same nursing home, but now she is in a different department with a supervisor who appreciates her and her work.



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Nurse. “Saya” the caregiver gave a normal, on camera interview. True or false? Did she experience discrimination by the residents of her retirement community?

Doctor, Physician. Are racism and discrimination normal, very common, quite common, not uncommon, rare, or non-existing? According to the report, do German-born minorities face the most discrimination?

General Practitioner. According to the psychologist, what is or are the main factors that contribute to racism against health-care professionals?

Internist. If a medical professional experiences abuse and harassment, the best solution is to quit and leave Germany. Is this right or wrong?

Orthopaediatrician. Does Nemanja the nurse from Serbia also experience bullying and harassment? Describe his experience.

Surgeon. Only German and EU citizens and legal residents can apply for and work in clinics and hospitals in Germany. Is this correct or incorrect?

Geriatrician. Are the international medical staff at the Gottingen University Hospital left to fend for themselves?

Pediatrician. Did Saya sue her employer? Has she returned to the Philippines?
Obstetrician. How would you describe the supply and demand for medical and health professionals in your town or city and country?

Rheumatologists. Are there none, a few, some, or many foreign workers in your community? Are they satisfied with their work and living conditions?

Neurologist. Have many citizens from your country gone abroad for work? What have been their experiences?

Oncologist. What might happen in the future?

Cardiologist. What could or should people, industry and governments do?

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