'Faith-specific' care urged for Muslims

Professor Aziz Sheikh of Edinburgh University argues that Britain's 1.6 million Muslims have the poorest health profile of any minority.

By
January 14, 2007 09:56
1 minute read.
'Faith-specific' care urged for Muslims

British Muslim 298.88. (photo credit: AP)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

A British Muslim academic called on Friday for "faith specific" health care for the country's largest minority faith community. Writing in the British Medical Journal, Professor Aziz Sheikh of Edinburgh University argued that Britain's 1.6 million Muslims have the poorest health profile of any minority. "There are few faith-centred initiatives aiming to improve health outcomes for our largest minority faith community," he wrote. "This reflects the general failure among academics, policy-makers and clinicians to appreciate the particular needs faith communities may have." Sheikh said the state National Health Service should implement a system to record the religious affiliation of patients, saying this would allow Muslims to see doctors of the same sex as themselves and also avoid pork and alcohol-derived drugs banned by their religion. Sheikh, who is professor of primary care research and development at Edinburgh University, said infant male circumcision should be provided by the NHS, so poorer parents would not have to resort to what he called the poorly regulated private health sector. He also wants better prayer facilities for Muslims in NHS hospitals. A Department of Health spokeswoman denied any discrimination against Muslims, saying services were decided locally according to clinical need and "the diversity of the local population." "All patients are entitled to ask to see doctors of a certain sex," said a spokeswoman, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with department policy. She said the National Institute for Clinical Excellence, which regulates provision of health services in Britain, has not approved the provision of infant circumcision. But another Muslim academic, Professor Aneez Esmail of Manchester University, warned that providing special services for defined groups risks stigmatization and stereotyping. "While it is reasonable we try to plan and configure our services to take account of needs that may have their roots in particular beliefs...we cannot meet everyone's demands for special services based on their religious identity," he said. "It would not be practical."

Related Content

[illustrative photo]
September 24, 2011
Diabetes may significantly increase risk of dementia

By UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN HEALTH SYSTEM