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Health body probes Free State rape

2011-10-26 22:30

Bloemfontein - The conduct of doctors who apparently ignored a terminally ill woman's complaints of a hospital rape would be probed, the Health Professions Council of SA said on Wednesday.

"This horrific event has sent shockwaves through the country and especially the healthcare industry after reports that doctors allegedly ignored the incident," the council's acting CEO and registrar Dr Kgosi Letlape said.

The council said appropriate action would be taken if health practitioners were found to have ignored the attack, at the National Hospital in Bloemfontein.

Free State police were investigating allegations that a cancer patient was raped by a male nurse. Spokesperson Captain Harry Nagel said the 50-year-old woman's husband told police the attack happened on October 15.

According to the woman, a woman nurse held her down while a male nurse raped her.

Two staff members at the hospital were suspended pending an investigation.

Nagel said police were still waiting for forensic tests on Wednesday. An identity parade would also be held if the woman was feeling well enough.

Letlape said the rape violated the core values of all healthcare professionals. He said the council was extremely concerned about the safety of patients at healthcare facilities.

Letlape urged hospital staff to ensure patient safety remained a priority.