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ICV’s Hospital Chaplaincy Program behind same-gender care at Monash Health

Monash Health will change its policies to give priority to requests from women for a female doctor because of religious beliefs, cultural concerns or past trauma.

(ICV Hospital Chaplaincy Coordinator Lina Ayoubi with hospital chaplains)

(ICV Hospital Chaplaincy Coordinator Lina Ayoubi with hospital chaplains)

The Islamic Council of Victoria’s spiritual care program, Hospital Chaplaincy, gives Muslim patients access to spiritual resources and practices during a hospital stay. The program’s coordinators visit members of the Muslim community to provide continuity of care and support the patient’s wellbeing. But they don’t stop there.

ICV Hospital Chaplain Laila Talaat who, regularly visits Dandenong Hospital, went above and beyond when she saw a pregnant niqabi sister being refused to see a female doctor during an antenatal visit.

ICV Hospital Chaplain coordinator Lina Ayoubi said, “Sister Laila threw her weight in and stood behind the niqabi pregnant sister, in her fight against discrimination.”

Sister Ziarata Zia sought legal advice from ICV’s Muslim Legal Network.

“MLN’s sister Aseel Sammak wrote to the CEO of the hospital at the time and voiced the concerns of Muslim females being treated poorly and discriminated against when requesting a female doctor in their regular visits to the hospital’s antenatal clinics,” Ms Ayoubi said.

Two years later, during an out-of-court hearing, Monash Health agreed to have its hospital policies reviewed by the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.

Now, Monash Health will change its policies to give priority to requests from women for a female doctor because of religious beliefs, cultural concerns or past trauma.

“Historical changes to Monash Health policies are about to take place in the near future, thanks primarily to our unified efforts,” Ms Ayoubi said.

Source: ICV Newsletter

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