A British doctor has been suspended for nine months after asking a Muslim female patient three times to remove her veil during consultations.
The panel decided to bar Dr. Keith Wolverson, who has 25 years of experience working as a doctor, from working temporarily after finding his actions “deplorable.”
Some of the violations committed by the doctor include asking married Muslim women to take off their veils. He has also criticized the ability to speak English to 15 patients.
Despite admitting his actions were unprofessional, Dr. Wolverson said he plans to appeal the ban on the ruling barring him from working as a doctor for nine months.
During a hearing held by the Medical Practitioner Court Service (MPTS), Wolverson was found guilty of or admitted to 17 of the total 28 offenses brought against him. All the reports of the doctor’s violations dated from January to May 2018 related to his work at Royal Stroke, either as a locum or temporary doctor, as well as while working at the Derby Urgent Care Centre.
In a statement quoted by Birmingham Live, the doctor said he was saddened for the public as he considered the sanctions meant further shortages of NHS personnel when it is highly stressed.
He also stated that his objection was not meant to belittle certain ethnic groups or harm anyone from any cultural background. It was solely about the clarity of communication between him and his patients.
In another incident, when he repeated requests for a Muslim patient to remove her veil three times during a consultation in May 2018, Wolverson reasoned that he asked for the veil to be removed due to difficulty understanding the patient’s stoke-on-Trent solid accent.
However, the court quickly dismissed the argument as they found no trouble understanding the patient when she came to give evidence.
Chief justice Duncan Toole said the evidence clearly showed Wolverson’s actions were “deplorable” and could undermine public confidence in the profession.
However, the court noted that Wolverson’s 25 years of medical services did not have any problems or bad records regarding patient safety. Public confidence in Wolverson’s medical abilities is hoped not to change, especially when he returns to work after reflecting on his actions during the nine-month suspension.