The attempted rape of a medical intern at Pelonomi Hospital in Bloemfontein has cast a very dark cloud on the safety of the health professionals working at state facilities around the country. This as the University of the Free State (UFS) has confirmed the victim in Tuesday night’s attempted rape is a student at the institution’s School of Medicine pursuing her graduate studies.
UFS Spokesperson, Lacea Loader, said in a written statement the university’s management had expressed its concerns about safety measures in place at Pelonomi with the hospital’s management prior to the unfortunate incident. Loader said this is because the hospital, which is flanked by Bochabela township and Heidedal, is considered a clinical training platform where medical students are trained. The university maintains it will continue to engage with the Department of Health in the Free State on the importance of beefing up security at clinical training facilities. The UFS’s statement comes as Pelonomi staff, including nurses, cleaners and few junior doctors, went on a brief strike after word of the attempted rape got out as day shift staff arrived for work on Wednesday morning. Management then met with labour representatives and have promised to brief staff regarding their safety concerns.
The incident occurred on Tuesday night when a female doctor at the Free State hospital bit off a man’s tongue as he attempted to rape her while she was sleeping in one of the overnight staff quarters. The FS Health Department confirmed the perpetrator is a former patient at the hospital who is originally from Bronville in Welkom.
Following the attack, the suspect fled to National Hospital. Police were called and took him back to Pelonomi where he was identified by his victim.
While Mvambi has confirmed the attempted rape, he was yet to respond to queries on concerns over safety at the time of print.