Heart surgeon hits out at lack of training to respect cultural differences

Daily Echo: Aiman Alzetani Aiman Alzetani

A leading heart surgeon from Southampton is demanding healthcare staff across the country are trained in helping patients with specific religious and cultural needs.

Aiman Alzetani, a consultant cardiothoracic surgeon at Southampton General Hospital, slammed the current lack of basic training and information for healthcare professionals, saying it had created “obstacles” for staff and “disconnected” them from some patients.

Practices such as washing before and after meals, shaking hands with members of the opposite sex and male relatives seeing female Islamic patients without a hijab on were just some of the instances cited by Mr Alzetani.

Now Mr Alzetani wants a pocket or ward guide on all religions and cultures for use across the NHS. He also wants to see “culture champions” in hospitals offering advice and support.

He said: “It can be a source of frustration for clinical staff when patients do not seem to be cooperating, but in the case of Muslim patients, for example, it could be something as simple as someone trying to pass them food in their left hand, which they wash with, instead of their right.

“Muslim patients are also required to hand-wash before and after eating and, if bed-bound, may need a portable handwash facility which, again, can seem odd or unnecessary to those who are not familiar with such processes.

“It is not widely known that Muslims are not allowed to shake hands with a member of the opposite sex, that intoxicating drugs are not permissible or that not all male family members are allowed to visit a female relative without her hijab on.

“These are all situations that could cause issues between staff and patients, but they could be easily avoided with some basic training or information to help guide staff.”

But the secretary of the Southampton Council of Faiths, David Vane, said they already do enough to promote the practices of other faiths.

He said: “We already work with the chaplaincy at the hospital. The chaplaincy used to be the representatives for Christians, now we have representatives for all faiths, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and others.”

Comments (17)

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11:45am Tue 3 Jun 14

SFCboi says...

Is this guy for real,
Being a Muslim myself , I get what he is saying, however our NHS staff are already overworked and under staffed. Do they really need to also start worrying about religious and cultural protocols. He is also not helping by making it out that Muslims need preferential treatment. When the fact is if you are generallyin Hospital it is because you are ill so I don't think you will care too much which hand someone passes your food to you in.
Is this guy for real, Being a Muslim myself , I get what he is saying, however our NHS staff are already overworked and under staffed. Do they really need to also start worrying about religious and cultural protocols. He is also not helping by making it out that Muslims need preferential treatment. When the fact is if you are generallyin Hospital it is because you are ill so I don't think you will care too much which hand someone passes your food to you in. SFCboi
  • Score: 17

11:51am Tue 3 Jun 14

sotonboy84 says...

"Practices such as washing before and after meals, shaking hands with members of the opposite sex and male relatives seeing female Islamic patients without a hijab on were just some of the instances cited by Mr Alzetani."

All complete irrelevant moaning and only drawing more negative attention to a faith that already has enough contradiction and controversy associated with it. This isn't about "other faiths", it's about a Muslim consultant wanting more Muslim practices imposed on everyday life.

Doctors and nurses are there to save lives regardless of age, sex, sexuality or religion and that's what they should continue doing rather than wasting time over who shakes who's hand and what hand food is passed to them with!! Hospitals provide hand washing facilities, patients don't have to shake hands with anybody and females should keep their hijab on during visiting times if it's that important.

Some people don't do themselves any favours.
"Practices such as washing before and after meals, shaking hands with members of the opposite sex and male relatives seeing female Islamic patients without a hijab on were just some of the instances cited by Mr Alzetani." All complete irrelevant moaning and only drawing more negative attention to a faith that already has enough contradiction and controversy associated with it. This isn't about "other faiths", it's about a Muslim consultant wanting more Muslim practices imposed on everyday life. Doctors and nurses are there to save lives regardless of age, sex, sexuality or religion and that's what they should continue doing rather than wasting time over who shakes who's hand and what hand food is passed to them with!! Hospitals provide hand washing facilities, patients don't have to shake hands with anybody and females should keep their hijab on during visiting times if it's that important. Some people don't do themselves any favours. sotonboy84
  • Score: 15

12:09pm Tue 3 Jun 14

Dai Rear says...

Do you recall Sir Lancelot Spratt's encounter? To paraphrase "This is Mrs.....She doesn't speak English"
Spratt "Am I a vet?" He sweeps on to the next patient.
Do you recall Sir Lancelot Spratt's encounter? To paraphrase "This is Mrs.....She doesn't speak English" Spratt "Am I a vet?" He sweeps on to the next patient. Dai Rear
  • Score: 1

2:02pm Tue 3 Jun 14

St.Winch70 says...

If they find themselves in hospital needing treatment, they are now in the hands of science, so time to forget all that religious nonsense.
If they find themselves in hospital needing treatment, they are now in the hands of science, so time to forget all that religious nonsense. St.Winch70
  • Score: 8

3:01pm Tue 3 Jun 14

boilerman says...

This guy is unreal.
How are Brits treated in foreign hospitals ? the same as the locals, we have to pay.
If these ethnics want to be treated as per their religion and culture why don't they live in a country where they are practiced.
In other words go home, I am fed up with foreigners telling us what to do in our own country.
There will surely be a revolution one day.
Bring on UKIP.
This guy is unreal. How are Brits treated in foreign hospitals ? the same as the locals, we have to pay. If these ethnics want to be treated as per their religion and culture why don't they live in a country where they are practiced. In other words go home, I am fed up with foreigners telling us what to do in our own country. There will surely be a revolution one day. Bring on UKIP. boilerman
  • Score: -1

3:54pm Tue 3 Jun 14

For pity sake says...

It's bad enough that the NHS pays for chaplains in hospitals instead of using the money for front-line staff, without putting more resources into further pandering to people's superstitions.
It's bad enough that the NHS pays for chaplains in hospitals instead of using the money for front-line staff, without putting more resources into further pandering to people's superstitions. For pity sake
  • Score: 6

4:05pm Tue 3 Jun 14

SilvanDryad says...

Hospitals try to restore the health of the whole person, and ideally should include the spiritual, as well as the physical and mental, aspects of the patient. Sometimes the staff don't have the time to do this, but a chaplain to talk to about worries can help both the patient and their family, indeed especially when there is no family, in the case of an elderly person.
Hospitals try to restore the health of the whole person, and ideally should include the spiritual, as well as the physical and mental, aspects of the patient. Sometimes the staff don't have the time to do this, but a chaplain to talk to about worries can help both the patient and their family, indeed especially when there is no family, in the case of an elderly person. SilvanDryad
  • Score: -5

4:59pm Tue 3 Jun 14

forest hump says...

SilvanDryad wrote:
Hospitals try to restore the health of the whole person, and ideally should include the spiritual, as well as the physical and mental, aspects of the patient. Sometimes the staff don't have the time to do this, but a chaplain to talk to about worries can help both the patient and their family, indeed especially when there is no family, in the case of an elderly person.
Absolute claptrap! Our health service is strapped enough for resources without having to worry about this cultural and religious nonsense. It is quite easy to resolve. If they do not like it......b*gger off!
[quote][p][bold]SilvanDryad[/bold] wrote: Hospitals try to restore the health of the whole person, and ideally should include the spiritual, as well as the physical and mental, aspects of the patient. Sometimes the staff don't have the time to do this, but a chaplain to talk to about worries can help both the patient and their family, indeed especially when there is no family, in the case of an elderly person.[/p][/quote]Absolute claptrap! Our health service is strapped enough for resources without having to worry about this cultural and religious nonsense. It is quite easy to resolve. If they do not like it......b*gger off! forest hump
  • Score: 5

4:59pm Tue 3 Jun 14

Dai Rear says...

For pity sake wrote:
It's bad enough that the NHS pays for chaplains in hospitals instead of using the money for front-line staff, without putting more resources into further pandering to people's superstitions.
The chapel in the main hospital in Newham was ripped out and replaced by an "Islamic Room". Enough yet people?
[quote][p][bold]For pity sake[/bold] wrote: It's bad enough that the NHS pays for chaplains in hospitals instead of using the money for front-line staff, without putting more resources into further pandering to people's superstitions.[/p][/quote]The chapel in the main hospital in Newham was ripped out and replaced by an "Islamic Room". Enough yet people? Dai Rear
  • Score: -2

5:12pm Tue 3 Jun 14

Dai Rear says...

"something as simple as someone trying to pass them food in their left hand, which they wash with, instead of their right"
I think it's wipe their b*ms with actually, or hold the stones to carry out that operation, if you're a Bedouin. But hey, it's "multicultural", "diverse" etc etc, all the Humpty Dumpty words manufactured by the extreme left. Don't you just love it?
"something as simple as someone trying to pass them food in their left hand, which they wash with, instead of their right" I think it's wipe their b*ms with actually, or hold the stones to carry out that operation, if you're a Bedouin. But hey, it's "multicultural", "diverse" etc etc, all the Humpty Dumpty words manufactured by the extreme left. Don't you just love it? Dai Rear
  • Score: 1

5:19pm Tue 3 Jun 14

kiz.bartlett says...

"intoxicating drugs are not permissible"

So every single painkiller and numbing agent? Would love to see that.
"intoxicating drugs are not permissible" So every single painkiller and numbing agent? Would love to see that. kiz.bartlett
  • Score: 6

5:29pm Tue 3 Jun 14

Dai Rear says...

I dare someone to play "Fightin' Side Of Me" over the hospital PA system
I dare someone to play "Fightin' Side Of Me" over the hospital PA system Dai Rear
  • Score: -2

8:14pm Tue 3 Jun 14

cmth40 says...

SFCboi wrote:
Is this guy for real,
Being a Muslim myself , I get what he is saying, however our NHS staff are already overworked and under staffed. Do they really need to also start worrying about religious and cultural protocols. He is also not helping by making it out that Muslims need preferential treatment. When the fact is if you are generallyin Hospital it is because you are ill so I don't think you will care too much which hand someone passes your food to you in.
so pleased a muslin with sense and not dictation which i hate to say is the norm with 90pc of muslins/ it is them that are racist with their demands from us that are born and bred in england,it is themselves that cause the hatred we feel for what seem dispicable,barbaric.
evil brainwashed cult,,stop making out that all the requests are valId when not and not religion no woman in a free country should wear any insulting covering on head/face/arms/legs/
or walk three paces behing the dictator called a muslin man,the insult is to keep females as slave,MUST STOP ALONG WITH FGM AND ARRANGED MARRIGES IN OUR COUNTRY WE DONT ALLOW IT take your evil sharia law and burn it,if we went to your counties we have to obey their rules/laws so you obey ours,STOP BLOODY MOANING IF ANY MUSLIN DOESNT LIKE IT THEN WE WONT S6TOP YOU L.EAVING
[quote][p][bold]SFCboi[/bold] wrote: Is this guy for real, Being a Muslim myself , I get what he is saying, however our NHS staff are already overworked and under staffed. Do they really need to also start worrying about religious and cultural protocols. He is also not helping by making it out that Muslims need preferential treatment. When the fact is if you are generallyin Hospital it is because you are ill so I don't think you will care too much which hand someone passes your food to you in.[/p][/quote]so pleased a muslin with sense and not dictation which i hate to say is the norm with 90pc of muslins/ it is them that are racist with their demands from us that are born and bred in england,it is themselves that cause the hatred we feel for what seem dispicable,barbaric. evil brainwashed cult,,stop making out that all the requests are valId when not and not religion no woman in a free country should wear any insulting covering on head/face/arms/legs/ or walk three paces behing the dictator called a muslin man,the insult is to keep females as slave,MUST STOP ALONG WITH FGM AND ARRANGED MARRIGES IN OUR COUNTRY WE DONT ALLOW IT take your evil sharia law and burn it,if we went to your counties we have to obey their rules/laws so you obey ours,STOP BLOODY MOANING IF ANY MUSLIN DOESNT LIKE IT THEN WE WONT S6TOP YOU L.EAVING cmth40
  • Score: 0

9:28pm Tue 3 Jun 14

bigfella777 says...

God doesn't exist or any other sky fairy therefore this cultural request is null and void.
Its 2014,this is England. if it is so terrible for someone to see your wife's hair you need to live somewhere else.
God doesn't exist or any other sky fairy therefore this cultural request is null and void. Its 2014,this is England. if it is so terrible for someone to see your wife's hair you need to live somewhere else. bigfella777
  • Score: -2

9:59pm Tue 3 Jun 14

dockboy says...

I think we should respect the wishes of all health tourists, after all, if they don't like the treatment they receive from the NHS, I'm sure they will refuse it.
I think we should respect the wishes of all health tourists, after all, if they don't like the treatment they receive from the NHS, I'm sure they will refuse it. dockboy
  • Score: -2

12:06pm Fri 6 Jun 14

From the sidelines says...

Dear Mr Alzetani, if you wish to follow the imaginary voices heard by a 6th century man who thought 9 years old was a good age for a wife, that is entirely your privilege.

However, it is not your privilege to demand that others do likewise.
Dear Mr Alzetani, if you wish to follow the imaginary voices heard by a 6th century man who thought 9 years old was a good age for a wife, that is entirely your privilege. However, it is not your privilege to demand that others do likewise. From the sidelines
  • Score: 0

10:09pm Wed 11 Jun 14

communicaid says...

Empathy is at the heart of patient care. Understanding the cultural traditions of patients is key to being able to ally patients' concerns and provide the best possible patient care. We have written more about how important cultural training for nursing staff is here: http://www.communica
id.com/cross-cultura
l-training/blog/uk-n
ational-health-servi
ce-respect-cultural-
traditions-patients/
Empathy is at the heart of patient care. Understanding the cultural traditions of patients is key to being able to ally patients' concerns and provide the best possible patient care. We have written more about how important cultural training for nursing staff is here: http://www.communica id.com/cross-cultura l-training/blog/uk-n ational-health-servi ce-respect-cultural- traditions-patients/ communicaid
  • Score: 0

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