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By Itumeleng Mafisa

Digital Journalist

Netcare suspends male nurse for alleged sexual assault of patient after operation

A KZN woman says she was told to trust her doctors after complaining about being assaulted by a nurse.

A private hospital in Pietermaritzburg, in KwaZulu-Natal, has confirmed that a male nurse has been suspended after allegedly sexually assaulting a patient after surgery.

The patient told The Citizen that she had been booked for a procedure to remove cysts from her womb when the alleged incident occurred.

She claimed that after the operation, while still under anaesthesia, a male nurse inserted his finger inside her private parts several times while moving her to a ward.

Anesthesia abuse nightmare

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According to the patient, even when a lift arrived at its destination the male nurse would send it back up again while continuing to assault her.

In a statement to the hospital, the woman who asked not to be identified said she was still battling to come to terms with what happened.

“I am currently in a bad state. I cannot eat well or sleep, I am still very traumatised by what I have gone through,” she said.

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‘I want justice’

She told The Citizen that she wants justice.

“I feel that I have been taken advantage of and that I have been used as a woman. I want justice for myself because we cannot accept the wrong norms,” she said.

In a recorded conversation with a senior doctor at the hospital, the patient was told to “trust” the process and her doctors when she questioned why the male nurse had not been arrested.

“You have to have faith in your doctor… Two organisations are perusing this,” a hospital doctor said.

A case had been opened with police and the patient has undergone tests as part of investigations. Any update from the police will be included once received.

‘Deeply disturbed’ by allegations

Commenting on the matter, Netcare St Anne’s General Manager Sharon Singh said: “We were deeply disturbed when a patient came forward with a complaint that a male healthcare worker sexually assaulted her following a procedure at our hospital,” Singh said.

 “We are appalled by these allegations and sincerely apologise to our patient. No one should ever feel threatened or harassed, particularly in healthcare.”

Singh said the hospital would take decisive action once police have concluded their investigation.

 “We do so to protect our patients and our hospital, which serves as a safe healthcare environment and a place where the dignity of our patients will always be respected and safeguarded in line with our values, ethics, and code of conduct,” she added.

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