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.