Cape Town – A former doctor has alleged that an “old boys” club” has been bullying and promoting a culture of racism and sexism in hospitals.
University of Cape Town medical graduate Yumna Moosa has lodged a formal complaint against a medical consultant in KwaZulu-Natal after she was allegedly sexually harassed while doing an internship at a hospital in that province.
Moosa released a video on YouTube last week in which she exposes two of her superiors – one a head of department – who advised Moosa to destroy the logbook in which she recorded the incident.
The doctors are not named in the video, which had had over 30 000 views
She said she made contact with five other junior doctors who lodged complaints, but who chose not to follow up for fear of them not qualifying as doctors.
Moosa, who is acclaimed former Cape Times journalist Zubeida Jaffer’s niece, graduated in 2012 and completed most of her internship at Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital in Johannesburg. She then moved to Durban, where she completed the last four months of her internship.
“The incidents started in my first week at the new hospital. I responded by speaking to the individual concerned, then the HOD, then eventually submitting written feedback.
“Things became more formal after the conversations in which I was told that if there was only a written complaint, then it did not really happen”.”
Moosa alleged many of these incidents took place over a period of two weeks.
“There were many, many incidents. He said my body was a distraction… He touched my chest… He quizzed junior colleagues about their pornography and suggested that Muslim doctors were bad at their jobs and should become terrorists instead.”
Moosa said she also overheard another senior doctor tell an intern: “You”re being stupid like a black person”.
When she complained about the matters, no action was taken.
She then approached the CCMA and at its most recent meeting, the hospital’s head of HR was extremely aggressive.
“She accused me of forging my registration with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA).
“The whole thing has become quite bizarre.”
Moosa said the HPCSA had informed her that it would take a decision about whether to proceed with a full public hearing at the committee”s next meeting.
HPCSA spokesperson Daphney Chuma refused to comment on Sunday, saying she was out of office.
Moosa said she has engaged extensively at every level of authority up to the level of Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi.
“Medicine in particular is very old school and it is this strange old boys” club that prepares us to have this inflated sense of self,” she said.
The Department of Health was also not available to comment on Sunday.
Moosa says in the video that she qualified as a doctor eventually but has chosen not to practise the profession.