Women removed from plane, strip-searched after premature baby dumped in Doha Airport bathroom

A newborn baby is still alive after being dumped in an airport terminal bathroom in Doha - an incident that prompted the non-consensual examination of female passengers.

A group of women, including 13 Australians, were allegedly removed from flights, detained and forced into inspections in ambulances parked on the runway earlier this month.

It's understood they were told to remove their underwear and undergo an invasive examination by Qatari authorities after a premature baby was abandoned in a Hamad International Airport (HIA) restroom.

None of the women were told about the abandoned baby or given any context as to why the examinations were being undertaken.

The baby, which is understood to have been born prematurely, is now being looked after by local medical staff and social workers.

"The newborn infant was immediately provided with medical attention and care," a HIA spokesman told Newshub.

"Medical professionals expressed concern to officials about the health and welfare of a mother who had just given birth and requested she be located prior to departing HIA.

"Individuals who had access to the specific area of the airport where the newborn infant was found were asked to assist in the query."

However the Australian government has now "formally registered serious concerns" about the incident with Qatari authorities, a spokesperson said.

"The Australian Government is deeply concerned at the unacceptable treatment of some female passengers on a recent Qatar Airways flight at Doha Airport," it said.

"Reports indicate that the treatment of the women concerned was offensive, grossly inappropriate, and beyond circumstances in which the women could give free and informed consent.

"The Government has formally registered our serious concerns about this incident with Qatari authorities. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is engaged on this matter through diplomatic channels."

Shadow Resources Minister Joel Fitzgibbons went one further on Monday, telling 7 News breakfast show Sunrise that the allegation "effectively amounts to state-sanctioned sexual assault".

"As a father, my first thought was what if this was one of my daughters," he said. "We should all be very concerned and the government here in Australia should be most robust in its response."