Patients see it a ‘sheer molestation’, castigates hospital authorities
The door of the ultrasound room at SMHS hospital is left ajar, Sana (name changed) a girl in her early twenties peeps into the rooms and sees a group of men doing the examination of the patients.
Scared to see no provision of privacy in the room, Sana tells her friend in a hushed up voice, “I will not go inside the room. You see they are making women to take off clothes in front of men.”
Sana had to do her breast examination. The oncologist has detected a lump in her breasts and to check whether or not the lumps are in a benign condition, the doctors has recommended going for a Doppler.
The peon calls Sana, and tells her to be prepared as she is the next to go inside. This sudden announcement makes her nervous and she tells her friend, “Please tell them to get the males out, once we will go inside. I cannot be so shameless, and take off clothes in front of males.”
As Sana go inside, she sees a coterie of male doctors examining patients. Amidst the entire male staff, only one female doctor is attending the female patients
The dimly lit room has just two beds, one for male patients and other for female. In-between the beds there are no curtains to respect the privacy of patients.
As the female doctor calls Sana and asks her to take off clothes. Nervousness began working on Sana’s face. She asks the doctor, “Can you get the males out. I have to get my breast examined” But the doctor smilingly says, “Who will see the patients then.”
Resultantly, Sana takes her clothes off and lies on the bed. A male doctor writes the finding of the examination and the female examines. The attendants who have swarmed the room openly see what is happening to what patient, which embarrasses the patients and they cover their body parts with their hands.
Seething with anger, Sana gets off the bed saying, “This is sheer molestation, and slams the door of the room.”
A Registrar at the SMHS hospital on conditions of anonymity says, “This is against the medical ethics. The privacy of the patient has to be maintained. But, here in SMHS hospital because of the dearth of female doctor, female patient are made to suffer.”
President Doctors Association Kashmir, Dr Nisar-ul-Hassan Malik while speaking to Kashmir POST says, “This is a serious concern. Whenever I tell female patients to do an ECG or ultrasound they always show reluctance, for they are worried that they have to strip off in front of a male doctor,”
Dr Malik who is also an assistant professor at the department of medicine at SMHS hospital says, “The females are not only made to take off clothes in front of male technicians, but attendants as well. Keeping our society and religion into consideration, female needs to be examined in complete privacy,” And, when the female patients are deprived of their right to privacy, “they skip the diagnostics which is an important aspect of the treatment.”
In charge Principal Government Medical College, Dr Qaiser Ahmad said, “There are instructions that if a female patient comes for any investigation she has to be accompanied by a female attendant or if an attendant is not there a nurse has to be there. If the privacy of the female patients is not maintained I will check with the medical superintendent.”