- Confidential medical information pertaining to ongoing sexual abuse and assault cases have not been collected from a hospital
- The SAPS has been given the responsibility to collect files to avoid it being tampered with
- Social media users were shocked at the backlog and suggested better ways of sharing information between SAPS and health facilities
South Africans were shocked to learn that a stack of confidential documents containing medical information to be sent to the South African Police Service (SAPS), has been neglected at a state hospital.
The documents contain medical evidence pertaining to injuries sustained by patients who opened cases of sexual abuse and/or assault with the SAPS. Some of the documents date back to 2018 but have not been collected by the SAPS which means the cases have not yet been handled, pointing to what one social media user calls “a catastrophic system failure”.
SIbo Tito is a medical doctor at a hospital where she discovered the stack of files and shared her concern with social media. She says the information is confidential and third parties cannot be entrusted with delivering the files, Briefly.co.za found.
She adds that there have been previous incidents of the information being tampered with, so SAPS and hospitals agreed that the SAPS would be given the responsibility of collecting files.
Social media users agreed that there should be better ways of handling such situations. Many said there should be a name of a particular officer who was tasked with collecting the information. Others suggested that health facilities should look into digitisation of information, allowing them to forward information to the SAPS electronically.
Many users also felt as though it was unethical of Sibo to share a picture of the files and suggested she report the matter to relevant authorities instead.
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