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Stressed and over worked nurses in Britain's hospitals have been given a new, five-times-daily task - that of turning the beds of Muslim patients towards Mecca.
As well as turning the beds five times each day, the nurses must provide fresh water for washing. The new move has created "turmoil" among staff at the Mid-Yorkshire NHS Trust, but Trust bosses say it must be instigated to ensure that Muslims have a comfortable stay in hospital.
The cost of training the nurses to comply with Islamic practice will be met, as usual, by the taxpayer. At the moment, the Dewsbury and District Hospital is the only one implementing the idea, but others are expected to follow in the new year.
Last year, some hospitals introduced burka-style gowns to be worn by patients in surgery so that medical staff could not see their face as they operated on them or cared for them.
Many people have criticised the new scheme, saying that the regular moving around of beds caused disruption for non-Muslim patients. Dewsbury has a large Islamic population (it was also the home of 7th July terrorist Mohammed Siddique Khan) and the local hospital has been in consultation with Muslims to see how the service could be adapted to suit them. Another suggestion was that Muslim women only be seen by female doctors. Muslims have told the hospital that a more informed understanding of Islam would improve the service offered by the NHS staff. If the NHS has so much money to spend on such training, then it should also have the money needed to combat superbugs and provide treatment to those who are denied life-saving cancer drugs.
And would a hospital in a Muslim country go so much out of its way to accommodate the needs and wishes of Christian patients?