TRS.20.005 – Combatting unconscious bias and discrimination in health care

Route: Towards resilient societies

Cluster question: 047 How can we promote social cohesion in a society that is culturally and religiously diverse?

In order to make society resilient for all citizens including migrants, we must ensure that health care is inclusive and safe for all patients and doctors alike, regardless of migration background. Studies in the United States have shown that ethnic minority patients have received less quality of care, due to bias and discrimination. Bias and discrimination are sensitive and difficult topics for care providers and have not been studied in Dutch health care yet. The lack of evidence of bias and discrimination in health care can lead to the assumption that these problems do not play a role in care provision.
Our ambition is to be the first to address this in the Netherlands. Questions we answer are: do bias and discrimination exist in Dutch health care? And if so, what role do they play in ethnic inequalities in health and what can be done to combat bias and discrimination? We will use different types of research methods, including interviews with patients and doctors and analysis of consultations between doctors and patients. Together with care providers and patients, solutions and education will be designed, pilot implemented in medical curricula and continuous medical education of care providers.


discrimination, health care, racism, unconscious bias

Other organisations

AMAN, AOF, Critical Mass, ECHO, Erasmus Medical Center (EMC), Leiden Universitair Medisch Centrum (LUMC), Maastricht University (UM), Movisie, Pharos, Radboud Medical Center (RUMC), SGAN, Tilburg University (TiU), UMCG, UMCU, University of Amsterdam (UvA), WHIG


Organisation Amsterdam University Medical Centres (AMC)
Name Dr. J.L. (Jeanine) Suurmond