Distinguishing people by ethnic background in healthcare: Hoe doen we dat in de gezondheidszorg?

Maria E. T. C. van den Muijsenbergh, Jeffrie Quarsie, Jako S. Burgers, Charles Agyemang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle*Professional


Discrimination based on ethnic background and the use of terminology like 'Negro Race' in clinical practice guidelines have been criticized, also in this journal. Typical Dutch words 'allochtonen', 'non-western', 'Creools' and 'Hindostan' are unspecific or could also offend people. Nevertheless, there are health risks related to ethnic background. Healthcare improves when health professionals would consider these, contributing to person centred cultural sensitive care. Therefore, we aimed to start a discussion about which acceptable terminologies should be used to describe ethnic differences in guidelines and research. We suggest that terminologies use to describe ethnic minority groups should be as precise as possible and should not be offensive, for instance 'migration background' instead of allochtoon, and 'African-Surinamese' instead of Creool. We invite guideline developers, researchers and people of different ethnic background, to join this discussion.
Translated title of the contributionDistinguishing people by ethnic background in healthcare
Original languageDutch
JournalNederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021

Cite this