A hospital has suspended a consultant after he claimed that a Muslim surgeon walked out of an operation because she was asked to remove her religious headscarf. Dr Vladislav Rogozov, 46, claimed in an online blog that he confronted her before the surgery when he realised she planned to wear the Islamic hijab which was against safety regulations.
But the unnamed surgeon refused, walking out of the operation and forcing staff at Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital to find a replacement. She later accused Czech-born Dr Rogozov, who has worked in Britain for ten years, of racial discrimination.
After a hospital investigation supported the consultant in his enforcement of the dress code, the Muslim surgeon left the hospital.
Religious headscarfs are ‘excluded in areas such as theatre, where they could present a health and cross-infection hazard’, according to the strict dress code. At the time, the incident was not made public.
But Dr Rogozov, a consultant anaesthetist, was suspended last month for revealing details of the incident, which happened in 2013, as well as other surgeons’ more recent behaviour in an interview with an Internet blog. He said: ‘I came into the operating room, where I met the surgeon, a woman shrouded in a Muslim headscarf. 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.’ Dr Rogozov claimed colleagues had long-standing concerns but added ‘no one dared to highlight this issue because they feared being accused of racism or intolerance’. Dr Rogozov also spoke of an incident where a male doctor recited extracts from the Koran during surgery, and claimed Muslim staff took prayer breaks during operations.
Writing in a blog post on a Czech website, he added: ‘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.’
A source told The Sun: ‘Dr Rogozov won’t tolerate anything that puts patients at risk. It has nothing to do with the medics being Muslims. It’s his fear they let their beliefs come before the patients.’
An inquiry is now ongoing after Dr Rogozov’s comments were printed on the Czech website and in a Slovakian newspaper. The NHS is also investigating the allegations.
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals’ spokesman Dr David Throssell 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.’
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is the UK’s largest NHS Foundation Trust, running five hospitals in the city.
So let me get this right-
- The muslim surgeon goes into an infection control operating theatre wearing a scarf that is forbidden
- She is asked to remove the scarf and wear head gear that is in line with health and safety procedures and refuses
- She leaves there operating theatre with out permission and possibly compromises the operations scheduled for that day
- No disciplinary action was taken against her
- The woman then accuses the male surgeon of racial discrimination
- The NHS Trust find in the male surgeons favour and that the muslim surgeon had not followed procedures
Subsequently, the male surgeon comments about the unreasonable behaviour on a blog and has now been suspended because of “the tone he has used in his bog.”
So here are some questions for the NHS Trust, why was she not named, was the muslim surgeon disciplined for refusing to follow health and safety procedures, for leaving her post without permission and for compromising the health and welfare of patients scheduled for operation that day? Was she reported to the BMA? Was she given a reference when she left the hospital presumable to work elsewhere in the UK?
I think we should be told and that this very able surgeon (according to all his colleagues) should return to his job.
Wouldn’t you just know that it is we, the indigenous population of the UK, who are being told that we have to adapt to the cultural norms of muslims and not the other way around.