Zero tolerance against anti-Semitism - Karolinska University Hospital remove physician from position after violation of hospital's core values


Karolinska University Hospital remove former consultant physician from his position and lower his salary. The doctor has violated the hospital's core values regarding harassment and anti-Semitism.

- He is now assigned to administrative tasks and will not be eligible for management positions in the future, says Björn Zoëga, CEO at Karolinska University Hospital.

It was in early 2018 that a doctor reported that he had been subjected to anti-Semitic harassment by a senior physician at one of the hospital's departments. The case was the subject of several investigations during the year and in February 2019, the law firm Flood Herslow Holme presented a report of the external investigation.

The report could not show that the doctor had been subjected to discrimination. The report did however state that harassment had taken place and that the hospital did not act quickly enough following the report of harassment. The reported consultant physician has also 'liked' anti-Semitic images in social media. Such behavior violates core values at the hospital, which clearly describe respect and equality for everyone.

- There is not - and should not be - any room for discrimination or anti-Semitism at Karolinska University Hospital. It is unacceptable and must be dealt with as soon as it is discovered. The hospital acted too slowly and inadequately; a very unfortunate situation, says Björn Zoëga.

During this year, several investigations have been done by Karolinska regarding the possibility to dismiss the reported doctor. From a legal perspective it has been found that there are no grounds for dismissal.

- The actions of the former consultant physician have caused significant damage to the reputation of Karolinska; both towards employees and patients of Jewish heritage and towards the general public. But dismissal is not possible according to Swedish labor law. Lawyers at regional level and at the hospital have concluded that dismissal would be in violation of Swedish labor law, says Patricia Enocson, HR Director at Karolinska University Hospital.

The former consultant physician will be assigned administrative tasks and his salary will be reduced.