The 45-year-old nurse, identified as Vedran B. from Croatia, was handed his suspension early this year after an employee at University Hospital Zurich (USZ) reported him to hospital management.
The woman claimed he had interfered with her in a recovery room after she had been operated on, according to a hospital insider who did not want to be identified.
After a week away from work, the nurse returned to the hospital’s clinic for ear, nose, throat and facial surgery. USZ did not report the incident to the police at the time, the source told Blick.
The abuse only came to light when a public patient filed a police report.
On receipt of her accusation, the authorities started making enquiries to find out if any other women who had recently received anaesthetics had noticed anything unusual.
“Then numerous patients who were operated on during that time were contacted in writing,“ confirmed deputy state prosecutor Daniel Kloiber to TeleZüri television station.
The letter asked the women if they had noticed any “unusual events, especially attacks of a sexual nature by a nurse“, Kloiber said. If so, they were told to contact the police.
Several other women who felt that something happened subsequently came forward.
The nurse’s victims were allegedly sexually abused while they were still under anaesthetic or slowly coming to between January 2008 and May 2011.
The anaesthetic nurse was arrested last week at his home in Alstetten in Zurich, where he lived with his wife and baby.
“A criminal investigation is still taking place,“ Kloiber explained. “There is strong suspicion of a crime.“
USZ said it did not want to comment specifically on the case but a spokeswoman said the hospital was working closely with the authorities.