The new practice has been introduced by clinics in the counties of Skåne, Halland, Blekinge and Kronoberg. Gynaecological patients in those areas will now be assigned a doctor of either sex, Helsingborgs Dagblad reports.
Exceptions will be made in some cases, such as for women who come from parts of the world with ‘patriarchal traditions’ or for the victims of sexual assaults, the paper reported. These women could insist on a female gynaecologist.
Women with less specific reasons for wanting a female gynaecologists may be turned down.
The changes have been brought in because many male gynaecologists have felt discriminated against.
Claes Lindoff, head of female healthcare at Helsingborg Hospital, said that the problem existed all over the country, but admitted that it only applied to “a hundred cases a year of our 15,000 visits.”
Allowing women to refuse treatment by male gynaecologists also causes problems for clinics, for instance when there are no female gynaecologists on duty at the time or when a man on duty is better qualified than a female colleague.