Jitendra Rathod: Covid-19 claims another BAME Doctor


An admired and respected senior heart surgeon-Jitendra Rathod, 62, has died after catching Covid-19.

A statement posted on the Cardiff and Vale University health board website paid tribute to Rathod, saying that he had worked in the cardiothoracic surgery department since the mid-1990s.

He was an incredibly dedicated surgeon who cared deeply for his patients,”

the health board said.

He was well liked and greatly respected by one and all. He was a very compassionate and a wonderful human being."

Jitendra Rathod is now the fifth doctor to have died due to Covid-19 and all those medical doctors have come from BAME communities . The other four include : Dr Alfa Saadu, 68, Amged el-Hawrani, 55, and Adil El Tayar, 64 and GP Dr Habib Zaidi, 76, had ancestry in regions including Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

The National Health Service has long been regarded as the nation's jewel in the crown, and yet it has hardly been recognized, even at this moment when everyone is applauding the heroic acts of the medical profession that BAME individuals play an extra-ordinary role in this national service.

In Wales for example, where Dr Rathod practiced  there has been for many years a disproportionate number of BAME doctors, particularly Asian.  The reason for this, I was told just a few weeks ago, was because English graduate doctors had little desire to practice in the small town and villages in Wales and so Asian doctors were encouraged to fill these gaps, which they did, taking their young families and building a life serving communities as if they were their own. In some of the most deprived areas of Wales such as the Rhonda Vale Asian doctors such as Rathod, made up to more than 70% of GP’s.

So thank you to all those doctors, but  in particular thank  you to Jitendra Rathod known has ‘Jitu’ to his friends. Your life long contribution serving the Welsh communities has you’ve done will not be forgotten.


Simon Woolley