A GP IS UNDER INVESTIGATION AFTER A WOMAN COMPLAINED THAT HE ASKED HER TO TAKE OFF HER VEIL DURING AN APPOINTMENT AND HAS BEEN GIVEN ADVICE FROM A MUSLIM ISSUES ACTIVIST.
The doctor claimed that he could not hear what the woman was saying and asked her to remove the veil, as he has done in the past with other Muslim patients, so he could fully understand what problem she was explaining.
He said: “I found it difficult to understand what the woman was saying behind her veil, so politely asked her to remove it. ‘I needed to hear what was wrong with her daughter, so I could offer the safest possible care.”
He insisted that he is not a racist and does not discriminate against people. The women complained to hospital bosses and claimed that Dr Wolverson gave her a ‘dirty look’.
The General Medical Council issued a statement to the Metro: “It is of utmost importance that the religious wishes of our patients are respected. However, evidently there are some circumstances where removal of a niqab or burka is necessary for medical assessment and treatment.
“Regardless of whether this complaint is upheld, the General Medical Council should consider issuing clear guidelines to protect both doctors, and our patients.”
Mohammed Shafiq, of the Ramadhan Foundation, suggested that the doctor be sent on a diversity awareness course. He also pointed out that the GP could have asked a female member of staff for assistance if the patient was feeling uncomfortable.
One user said: “Our country has totally lost the plot. The poor GP was just doing his job.”
Another added: “If it does not work out for the doctor i think a petition is in order. We need our doctors desperately.”
“For goodness sake! It’s good manners to ensure that other people can hear what is being said. If the doctor could not hear properly then he can’t diagnose accurately. Could she not use her common sense?”
“The doctor was absolutely right to request that this patient removed her veil to help him communicate more effectively. Just think what might have happened had there been a misunderstanding due to his being unable to hear what she was saying clearly. I hope very much that he wins his case. This is NOT discrimination by any stretch of the imagination.”