A consultant has been suspended after revealing how he asked a Muslim surgeon to remove her headscarf in the operating theatre.
Dr Vladislav Rogozov said in a blog that he confronted the woman before surgery, telling her it was against health and safety regulations. However, she refused to remove the headscarf, walking out of the operation and forcing staff to find a replacement.
She then accused Dr Rogozov of discrimination, and when an investigation by Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital ruled he had been correct in enforcing the dress code, she quit the hospital.
The Daily Mail says the hospital dress code states that religious headscarves are “excluded in areas such as theatre, where they could present a health and cross-infection hazard”.
The incident was not made public at the time, but Dr Rogozov was suspended last month after writing about it in a Czech-language blog.
“I came into the operating room, where I met the surgeon, a woman shrouded in a Muslim headscarf,” He wrote. “I immediately stopped the operation of the hall and asked her to put down her scarf and replace it with the prescribed headgear.”
“After a long discussion held with respect, decency and factual arguments, the surgeon refused and left the operating room. We managed to subsequently find another surgeon who performed the operation.
“After the end of the operating day other members of the surgical team came to me (in a low voice and with the door closed) to share their concerns about the threat to patient safety.”
He also claimed that colleagues had longstanding concerns but said “no one dared to highlight this issue because they feared being accused of racism or intolerance”.
Dr Rogozov also claimed that a male doctor recited verses from the Quran during surgery, and said that Muslim staff took prayer breaks in the middle of operations.
“If the medics in a developed country are afraid to draw attention to threats to patient safety because of accusations of racism, then it is an example of the absurdity of multiculturalism,” he wrote.
Dr David Throssell, a spokesman for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, said: “The member of staff has not been excluded from work for raising patient safety issues as we take these very seriously.
“However since the publication of articles, attributed to the member of staff, we have received concerns about the tone he has used.
“On this basis the content and nature of the views published are currently being investigated.”
Last week, Breitbart London reported how one UK hospital trust is introducing “multi-faith dignity gowns” to protect the “modesty” of patients after local Muslims complained of the standard hospital gowns.
The gowns, which can function as hijabs or niqabs with inbuilt face masks, are being offered at Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch hospitals. The hospital trust told Breitbart London that the gowns had been developed in partnership with the local Muslim sisters, but could also be used by Hindu, Orthodox Jewish and Rastafarian women.
Nada Fawal, a member of the focus group that helped develop the gown, said: “We are absolutely delighted the trust has introduced the new gowns. For Muslim women, to have any flesh exposed, other than their face and hands, is like having very private parts of the anatomy, such as the breasts, displayed.
“This means wearing the normal hospital gown is uncomfortable for us. At the same time, we are also very conscious that when we are in hospital, NHS staff are trying to help us, so don’t want to make life difficult for them.
“Now, thanks to the new gown, we won’t have to worry about it, we can just request one of those – it’s a great relief.”