Spate of hospital rapes
AT LEAST three women have been raped while seeking help at North West hospitals in the past six months.
The alleged rape incidents happened at three different hospitals around the province.
In the latest on Friday, a doctor accused of raping a 16-year-old girl at the Brits Hospital was released on R1000 bail by the Brits Magistrate's Court.
Police say the teenage patient was waiting for her mother to pick her up after she was discharged from the hospital when the incident happened.
Police spokesman Thulane Ngubane said the doctor allegedly called the teenager into one of the consulting rooms and raped her.
The teenage victim had allegedly drank poison ina bid to kill herself and was rushed to the hospital.
The doctor has denied raping the teenager.
North West department of health spokesman Tebogo Lekgethwane said the doctor was questioned by the authorities after the incident but he denied any wrongdoing.
"The doctor said the girl made up the rape story," said Lekgethwane.
"The doctor told us he had tried to interview the girl about her suicide tendencies but she had refused to talk to him.
"The doctor claimed he had arranged for the girl to see a clinical psychologist the following day and had then discharged her.
"The doctor said after he knocked off, he went to the outpatients department.
"He claimed he heard someone calling him and when he opened the door he realised it was the girl he had treated earlier.
"The doctor claimed the girl then offered to do anything if he took her home but he refused.
"The doctor claimed he had reminded the girl of the importance of her meeting with the psychologist the next morning and advised her to ask the nurses in casualty to call her family to pick her up.
"He claimed he asked her to sit in the waiting area and had left."
The victim's mother, who cannot be named to protect the teenager, said she was confused and saddened by the incident.
"I am hurt. Why did they discharge her at night and not call us to collect her?
" She was feeling dizzy and was weak and they took advantage of her. God will punish them," she said.
Police spokesman Brigadier Thulane Ngubane said the victim was "penetrated by fingers".
Ngubane said the victim was checked by another doctor and it was discovered that she had indeed been penetrated.
He said the girl claimed that the doctor had a condom on when he raped her.
In January, a 24-year-old male nurse raped a patient suffering from depression at a state hospital in Potchefstroom.
On Christmas Day, a man apparently entered a female ward at Mahikeng Hospital pretending to be a visitor.
Police said on realising that two other patients in the ward were critical, the man had approached a 22-year-old patient and raped her.
North West health MEC Magome Masike said he was deeply worried by the "declining moral values in society".
"We are seriously concerned about these allegations of rape at our health facilities.
"The nation must seriously introspect.
"On the other hand we expect the nation's health professionals to behave themselves and respect their professions.
"Our health professionals must be a good example to the nation's youth," he said. - email@example.com