Chennai

‘Hospitals must be equipped to examine sexual assault cases’

Every hospital must be well-equipped to examine cases of sexual assault, said Jagadeesh N., Head of Forensic Medicine from Vydehi Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, while addressing a panel of doctors at a one-day conference on detecting and managing child abuse cases, on Sunday.

The conference was held by Apollo Hospitals and Tulir, Centre for the Prevention & Healing of Child Sexual Abuse.

“By referring victims to hospitals which are at least an hour away, we will only lose valuable time and evidence,” Vidya Reddy, founder of Tulir said.

“It is mandatory that every hospital, including government and private, have a comprehensive healthcare response to survivors of sexual assault.” Pointing to the order passed by the State Government a few years ago, where every hospital including government and private were mandated to provide the required medical treatment and psychological support to the survivors, Dr. Jagadeesh said, “But it is only on paper. The State must ensure that it is properly implemented.”

Ms. Vidya insisted that all therapists and trained professionals conduct a proper forensic interview with the victims, which could help gather valuable information for further investigation. Experts also pointed out to the seriousness of neglecting child abuse which could lead to morbidity and mental stress. They also insisted that hospitals implement a uniform screening protocol for child abuse in emergency departments that could increase detection rates and reduce the short and long-term effects of child abuse.

Suneeta Reddy, Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Group, too insisted that doctors strictly follow the protocol laid down during the workshop and look at how they can help prevent incidents of child abuse. “Children are our future and our aim is to prevent this from happening and ensure that help is provided to the victims,” she said.

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Printable version | May 14, 2021 9:27:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/hospitals-must-be-equipped-to-examine-sexual-assault-cases/article24787566.ece

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