Hospital suspends doctor who asked surgeon not to operate in a headscarf
However, the unnamed surgeon later accused Dr Rogozov, who has worked in Britain for 10 years, of racial discrimination.
A hospital investigation supported the consultant in his enforcement of the dress code and the Muslim medic subsequently left the hospital.
Dr Rogozov revealed details of the incident – which happened in 2013 – in an online blog, which was then repeated in a Slovakian newspaper and a Czech website.
He wrote: “I came into the operating room where I met the surgeon, a woman shrouded in a Muslim headscarf. I immediately stopped the operation 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 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 the issue because they feared being accused of racism or intolerance”.
He also spoke of a separate incident where a male doctor recited extracts from the Koran during surgery, and claimed some Muslim staff took prayer breaks during 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.
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.”