Thursday, January 6, 2011

Arabia: Female nurses face sexual harassment in hospitals ~ mainly by male doctors and nursing staff

It appears that for Saudi women nurses ~ that the profession is seen as being akin to prostitution ~ Saudi men refuse to marry women who are nurses.

Obviously the women's strict dress is not stopping the male doctors and patients from making advances.

Currently no laws in place to protect female nursing staff ~ and one wonders if some of these women aren't from places like the Philippines ~ 4 Filipino nurses were violently gang raped in October 2010. At least one died.

 That they don't have laws in place ~ attests to the Muslim ideology ~ that Islam will solve all the problems and that it is the answer to everything. While all this is going on.

The Middle Eastern Arab countries are places where expat female workers are most likely to be attacked.

HAFR Al-BATEN: Authorities in Hafr Al-Baten have launched a thorough investigation into a number of allegations about sex attacks on nurses working evening and night shifts at hospitals in the region.

One of the hospitals where several recent incidents occurred is King Khaled Hospital in Hafr Al-Baten where nurses on night duty reported being attacked by patients, Al-Yaum newspaper reported recently.

“I shouted and cried out for help,” said one Asian victim who was attacked by a patient. “I only escaped narrowly after threatening the guy that I would call the police,” she added, while urging the authorities to restrict night shifts to male nurses except in the maternity wards. Another nurse spoke about the time when a duty doctor tried to sexually abuse her. “He started talking to me and made some obscene remarks. If I responded positively, then he might have taken it further and tried to sexually abuse me,” she said.

Ayesha, a 27-year-old nurse, said she was forced to call hospital security staff to deal with a visitor who made sexually explosive comments and tried to lure her into an empty room.

Naja, a 25-year-old nurse, said she was once attending a patient who then began speaking of how rich he was and the properties he owned. “He made a point to specially mention this huge vacant apartment he had exclusively set aside for entertainment. When I realized his evil design, I managed to avoid taking care of him after entrusting him into the care of a colleague,” she said.

Commenting on such complaints, Dr. Tareq Al-Salem, director of the Health Affairs Department in the Eastern Province, said that punitive measures have been taken against hospital staff who have been accused of indecent behavior with nursing staff.

Meanwhile, a number of members of the Shoura Council underscored the need to change regulations relating to female doctors and nurses on night duty. “This is essential to avoid sex attacks and sexual molestation. Those involved in such crimes should be handed stern punishment,” said a Shoura Council member, adding that the council is to soon discuss the issue in light of the rising number of such incidents in the recent past.

Dr. Rashed Al-Katheeri, head of the Committee for Social, Family and Youth Affairs under the Shoura, said the Shoura is keen to discuss the issue.

Ziyad Al-Rogaiti, spokesman for police in the Eastern Province, said the police have received a number of complaints about sexual abuse in which female nurses have been the victims.

Faisal Al-Shammari, spokesman for the Health Affairs Department in Hafr Al-Baten, said that there has been an alarming increase in the number of such cases in the region. “We have received more than 250 such cases within one year,” he said.

Surprisingly, Sharifa Al-Zaid, director of the Nursing Department at the Eastern Province Governorate, said her department has so far not received any complaints about sexual abuse involving female nurses.

However, refuting her claim, a source at King Khaled Hospital, who requested anonymity, said that sometimes there are three daily cases of sexual abuse involving female nurses at the hospital. He said that the main culprits tend to be male doctors and nurses.

Hanan Hamza, a legal consultant, urged the authorities to enact a law with provisions to award stringent punitive measures against those accused of sexually harassing or abusing female hospital staff.

Arab News

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