SAMA calls for investigation into alleged rape

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The South African Medical Association (SAMA) has called for a swift criminal investigation into the alleged rape of a patient by a doctor at the Dr Yusuf Dadoo Hospital in Krugersdorp.

“We strongly denounce this reported crime against a patient. Sexual assault of a patient by a medical professional is blatant criminality and a serious affront on their rights and dignity.

“SAMA awaits a speedy investigation into the matter and the release of more details surrounding the incident,” said SAMA chairperson Mzukisi Grootboom.

On Tuesday, Gauteng Health MEC Dr Gwen Ramokgopa announced that her department had cut ties with the alleged doctor, opened a case of rape and subsequently reported the individual to the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) for misconduct.

The incident is said to have happened on Monday morning. The victim has since been referred to Leratong Hospital’s crisis centre for clinical assessment, trauma counselling and collection of evidence.

“We extend our sincerest sympathy to the alleged victim and their family for the psychological, emotional, and physical harm they have been subjected to because of this reported attack,” said Grootboom.

According to the Health Department, the suspected perpetrator is a sessional doctor based at the Krugersdorp hospital.

“As a profession guided by a solemn oath and bound by the ethical and professional duty of care for patients, the criminal misdemeanour of the doctor casts a blight on our profession,” said Grootboom.

In addition to calls for an investigation, the medical association added to calls for the HPCSA to verify the credentials of the alleged perpetrator and immediately institute disciplinary proceedings against him.

“We are encouraged that the appropriate judicial processes by the South African Police Service have apparently commenced. We are optimistic this will bring a successful prosecution,” said the association.

SAMA said it salutes the bravery of all those involved in exposing the deplorable act and encouraged the public to step forward and report any form of attack on patients by doctors in any health institution.

“The horrendous statistics on rape in South Africa attest to a problem in the social fabric in the country. Sadly, a lot of such abuse goes unreported,” it said.

The organisation also suggested changes to healthcare polices to prevent such acts from happening in future. It suggested that a chaperon be present during an intimate examination as this protects the patient and should be considered as a risk-reduction strategy in the South African healthcare system. – SAnews.gov.za

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