Saudi doctors reject calls for women only hospitals

Last Updated: Fri, Jan 04, 2013 19:19 hrs

Manama: Saudi doctors have rejected calls to set up hospitals exclusively for women, saying that the suggestion to rule out medical cross gender examination was highly unpractical.

The call, according to Gulf News, was issued by Saudi citizens who said that they wanted only women doctors to look after them whenever they needed to go to a hospital, local Arabic daily Al Sharq reported.

Khalid Al Ghadhiya, a social worker, said that women's hospitals would help meet the health needs of Saudi women in a much more comfortable setting.

However, Dr. Fatima Al Melhim, head of the radiology department at the King Fahd Hospital, said that she opposed segregation between male and female doctors.

"A hospital is an integrated entity made up of administrative and medical staff and providing an adequate number of female doctors and staff is not possible," she said.

Dr Sulaiman Al Sulaiman, a consultant, said that there was no need to set up hospitals exclusively for women.

Rights activist Fawzia Al Ayooni told Al Sharq that past experiences indicated that setting up hospitals exclusively for women would fail.

Shaikh Malek Al Milad, a religious figure, said that medical cross gender examination was permissible in cases of emergency or when the doctor had outstanding qualifications.

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