Hospital Apologises After Doctor Insults Welsh Speakers

As reported in Welsh newspaper the Daily Post Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board were forced to apologise following insulting behaviour by a Doctor towards two Welsh speaking patients. The incident happened last Tuesday when a mother and daughter went to the emergency department at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, Bodelwyddan. As the mother was talking to her daughter in Welsh it is claimed that the Doctor told them she would take it as a “personal insult” if they continued speaking in their own language. The daughter was tearful and upset by this remark and made it clear she had a right to speak Welsh. The doctor later apologised.

The Health Board apologised for what they described as an “insensitive and unacceptable” comment. A spokesman went on to say that: “We can only apologise for this insensitive and unacceptable remark. As a Health Board we are fully committed to supporting the Welsh language – it is the first language of many of the people who use our services and we are disappointed to hear that such a comment has been made.”

It was reported that the mother is considering taking the matter further and may complain to the Welsh Language Commissioner’s office.

This incident involving health provision comes after the incident earlier this year when a supermarket pharmacy  refused to provide medication to a one year old boy whose prescription was written in both Welsh and English. The baby boy, who needed antibiotics and steroids, later had to be admitted into hospital. The boy’s father later wrote on facebook that “It’s a shameful thing in our country that we can’t use our own language.”

Both of these episodes highlight the dangers posed by anglophone bigotry. Such attitudes are not acceptable and will not be tolerated.


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