Ramokgopa investigates rape of a doctor

Friday, November 5, 2010

Pretoria - The newly appointed Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Gwen Ramokgopa, will this afternoon visit the Pelonomi Regional Hospital in Bloemfontein to investigate the circumstances into the reported sexual assault of a female medical doctor.

The doctor was allegedly raped while on duty by three assailants at the weekend.

Ramokgopa, who will be accompanied by Free State Health MEC Sisi Mabe and health officials from both national and provincial offices, will also make a personal visit to the doctor to give her support.

During the visit, Ramokgopa will also address workplace safety measures as well as policy issues to ensure the protection of health professionals, patients as well as visitors to the hospital.

She will also inspect the health facility before a meeting with hospital management and medical registrars.

Meanwhile, Director-General of Health, Malebona Matsoso, described the incident as a fundamental violation of human rights and criminal offense which leaves an enduring emotional, physical and social imprint on survivors.

"It is more disturbing that this act was done in a workplace environment during the call of duty. We cannot afford such acts of violation," Matsoso said.

She said that the national Department of Health is collaborating with the Free State province to put intervention and safety measures in place to ensure the protection of the health care workers in the workplace.