I came to Britain in 1975. During my early years as a senior house officer in NHS hospitals, I had to work well over 100 hours a week in the accident and emergency departments, giving life-saving treatment to sick and injured British subjects.
After passing my higher exams, I worked as a registrar in some of the busiest maternity units in this country. I must have delivered hundreds of British subjects with my own hands. On many occasions, I had to live and sleep in the labour ward room, for up to seven days at a stretch, to meet the demand created by chronic medical staff shortage, a well-known feature of the slowly crumbling NHS.
I decided to take up general practice so that I could start some sort of a family life. However, as a solo GP in the NHS, I now find myself responsible for providing cradle to grave care for more than 2,300 British subjects and their families, 365 days a year.
But today, for my 24 years of service to the citizens of this country, I was humiliated by a clerk of the British Foreign Office in New Delhi, when he refused to grant a three-month visitor entry permit to my 72-year- old mother who wanted to come here for medical treatment under my care.
If this is a reflection of Mr Blair's racially tolerant Labour government, then I feel ashamed of calling myself a British citizen.
Dr SIRAJ SHAH
Gravesend, KentReuse content