SUPPORTERS have started an online petition to save a doctor who asked a Muslim woman to remove her veil so that he could hear her clearly during a consultation.
Dr Keith Wolverson, a GP with 23 years of experience, received a letter last week from the General Medical Council stating that his conduct was under investigation.
The situation arose last year when Wolverson asked a woman to lift her veil so that he could hear her clearly.
The woman had brought her daughter to see him and when he struggled to understand her, he “politely” asked the woman to remove it.
She agreed to remove it without any objection, but when her husband arrived later, he declared he was lodging a complaint, said Wolverson.
Wolverson said he was upset at being accused of racial discrimination and was planning to quit medicine.
“Unfortunately I’m not able to work at the moment as I’m a locum GP and no-one will employ you while you’re under investigation by the GMC,” he was quoted as saying.
“I feel I’ve been left with no alternative but to look at doing something else.
“I’ve received a lot of messages of support since announcing my decision, which is a comfort. People have been almost unequivocal in backing me.”
The petition was launched two days ago by a person named Peri Morgan and it calls for Wolverson to be treated fairly.
“I believe he acted in the best interest of the child involved and their was no racist or religious discrimination in his actions. We need to ensure the General Medical Council treat this man fairly and look at all the evidence.
“Our NHS is severely understaffed and we cannot afford to lose doctors due to fabricated accusations of discrimination.”
A spokesman for the Doctors’ Association UK told the Mail on Sunday that the GMC should consider issuing guidelines to protect both doctors and patients.
“It is of utmost importance that the religious wishes of our patients are respected. However, evidently there are some circumstances where removal of a niqab or burqa is necessary for medical assessment and treatment,” the spokesperson said.