IFP Demands Plan to Protect Patients from Sexually Abusive Doctors

Sep 8, 2022 | Press Releases

The IFP in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature calls on the KZN MEC for Health, Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, to inform the public of her plan to protect patients from sexually abusive doctors in public hospitals.

This comes after a doctor is alleged to have raped a 20-year-old patient at the Port Shepstone Hospital on the KZN South Coast.

The first responsibility of any medical professional is do no harm, and when someone violates that oath, they must be held accountable. A doctor who abuses their position to sexually assault a patient under the guise of performing medical examinations puts the entire health profession into disrepute. Rather than providing medical care and assurance, the doctor’s actions left the victim feeling humiliated, confused, and violated.

As the IFP, we call upon the KZN MEC for Health to present a detailed plan, with tangible solutions, outlining how she intends to protect patients. When you check into a hospital for care, you do so with the expectation that in addition to the proper training, experience and credentials to handle your medical needs, every physician and nurse involved in your treatment is a person of integrity. Unfortunately, as this recent incident has exemplified, this is not always the case. The MEC must restore confidence that people are safe in our public hospitals.

Further, the IFP has raised serious concerns about questionable hiring practices that occur within hospitals and medical facilities. The process should begin with a thorough analysis of the physician’s application and suitability for employment. When hospitals fail to properly vet their physicians, the consequences can be severe – even deadly – for patients.

The IFP is of the view that medical professionals found guilty of any sexual misconduct or abuse are unsuitable for employment in the KZN Department of Health, or any other government institution.  People who commit these acts also pose a security risk and erode public trust.

As the IFP, we therefore call upon the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) to ensure that all doctors found guilty of any sexual misconduct or abuse are blacklisted. There is no place in our hospitals for abusive doctors who prey on patients. They must be dealt with accordingly.

Mrs Ncamisile Nkwanyana, MPL
IFP KZN Provincial Spokesperson for Health
078 302 3991

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