Artwork from an exhibition by international student doctors celebrating diversity in our workforce has been unveiled at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital.

The artwork is part of an initiative called ‘Beauty in Diversity’ by the Student Wing of the British International Doctors Association (BIDA), recognising the skills of healthcare colleagues from overseas.

BIDA Student Wing is the first organisation dedicated to representing international medical students studying in the UK. Its members come from across 40 different nations.

The artwork will be auctioned to raise money for the families of bereaved healthcare workers from during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The unveiling of the artwork was attended by Dr Jim Gardner, Chief Medical Officer for Liverpool University Hospitals and Richard Kemp CBE, Acting Lord Mayor of Liverpool.

Dr Gardner said: “It was an absolute pleasure to welcome distinguished guests to the unveiling of Dr Husnaa Khan’s painting in the main entrance hall of the Royal Liverpool University Hospital.

“We are truly honoured to have the picture here in Liverpool. The painting is an enduring reminder of the positive impact our diverse, multi-ethnic workforce makes to the healthcare we provide, and a reminder of our shared obligations to colleagues from all backgrounds.”

Painted during the COVID-19 pandemic by student doctor, Dr Husnaa Khan, the pieces titled ‘The New Normal’, depicts attitudes towards the use of face masks.

The paintings, which will also be displayed at Aintree University Hospital and Broadgreen Hospital, are one of many exhibitions being displayed across NHS Hospitals and GP practices throughout the UK.

Dr Sai Pillarisetti, founder of the BIDA Student Wing, said: “The aim of this initiative was to provide some financial support to bereaved families of frontline healthcare workers from the pandemic, while promoting diversity in healthcare and I am very grateful to Dr Jim Gardner and the Trust for supporting us in this endeavour by displaying the beautiful artwork.

“Almost half of NHS doctors come from minority ethnic backgrounds and this number is rising quickly across other healthcare professions too. This initiative also hopes to promote representation and celebrate the multicultural and diverse communities we live in.”

Paula O’Malley, Healing Arts Manager at the LUHFT, said: “It has been a pleasure to be part of the 'Beauty in Diversity' initiative by the British International Doctors Student Wing. This is the beginning of reflecting the diversity of our patients and workforce through our art collection on every hospital site across the Trust.”

Dr Chandra Kanneganti, BIDA National President added: “All of us at BIDA are very proud of this initiative led by Sai and our younger members.

“The legacy of our Covid heroes who fought on the front lines must never be forgotten and this fundraiser to support their families is a wonderful tribute.

“I am also thankful to all who have donated and supported the fundraiser with the beautiful diversity themed artwork, and I hope these thought-provoking pieces will resonate with the public.”