The British Medical Association yesterday agreed that hospitals should provide religious headwear to allow doctors to observe religious beliefs.
Doctors said that “theatre hijabs” should be available to Muslim women to enable them to cover their face during operations. Turbans and other headwear should also be available, the conference said.
Any such items would be made from sterile material to avoid aiding the spread of hospital acquired infections such as MRSA.
St Andrews University medical student, Sabrina Talukdar, said that she sometimes experienced problems when taking part in surgery wearing a hijab and that Muslim women were often asked to take them off.
"The 'theatre hijab' would simply be a square piece of sterile theatre cloth, secured with pins, which can be worn in conjunction with a surgical mask for those only wanting to expose their eyes."