SZMC&H medical officer suspended over sexual misconduct

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A medical officer of the Shaikh Zayed Medical College and Hospital (SZMC&H) Rahim Yar Khan has been suspended on the charges of assaulting a nurse, a private media outlet reported on Monday.

According to reports, an action was taken against Dr Khurram Shamsher Mughal, a leader of the Young Doctors Association (YDA), on a complaint filed against him by a staff nurse.

The nurse, who is deployed at the Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit (ICU), submitted an application with the hospital’s nursing superintendent on October 12, stating that medical officer Dr Mughal tried to take her to his room when she was performing her duties on the night of October 9.

She resisted the move, and when forced, she called her colleague, another nurse, and saved herself from being sexually assaulted, the application stated.

A majority of staff nurses at the hospital protested outside the principal’s office to condemn the doctor’s actions.

SZMC&H spokesperson Professor Dr Burhan Mustafa told media persons that Dr Mughal, who was serving as the medical officer of the anaesthesia department on a contract basis, was suspended with immediate effect.

A five-member inquiry committee has been formed by the hospital administration to probe into the matter and submit its inquiry report to the principal within two days.

It is worth mentioning here that this is the second reported incident of assault against a female medical official at SZMC&H Rahim Yar Khan in less than a month as earlier, a sweeper had allegedly tried to rape a female medical officer in the emergency ward of SZMC&H. The principal, however, had denied the occurrence of any incident of a rape attempt.

The incident led to the Punjab government suspending the principal and medical superintendent of the hospital for showing “inefficiency” over the episode.

Notably, the YDA — of which the accused in the latest incident is a leader — had after the first incident protested in many hospitals of the province and demanded legislation in the Punjab Assembly for the protection of doctors, nurses and other paramedics. The doctors suspended their work in the OPDs.

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