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  • Vic patients can ask for same gender doc

    Author: AAP

A major Victorian hospital has changed its policy to allow patients to request to see a doctor of the same gender for cultural or religious reasons.

A Melbourne hospital has changed its policy so patients can request a doctor of the same gender for cultural, religious or personal reasons.

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The Monash Health policy change came about after a patient complained two years ago when she was told it was not possible for her to see a female doctor because of religious reasons at the hospital's antenatal clinic.

Ziarata Zia, who migrated from Afghanistan in 2010, complained to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Commission but the issue was resolved before going to a hearing, Fairfax Media reports.

Monash Women's director Euan Wallace says the hospital then asked the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission to review its policies.

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"We recognise that for cultural, religious or personal reasons a patient may ask to be seen by a carer of the same gender," he said in a statement on Wednesday.

"We will try to accommodate these requests whenever possible."

Professor Wallace said it was not always possible to guarantee requests would be fulfilled, including in emergency situations.

He also said patients could choose to have another person present during appointments, examination and consultations.

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