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Panel being set up to review incident in which rape victims were turned away from hospital

Sergeant Florene Clarke and Medical doctor Superintendent Sheryl Mae Burke, both attached to CISOCA
 
The Ministry of Health and Wellness has convened a panel to conduct an independent review of a recent incident at May Pen Hospital, where three women who were raped were reportedly turned away from the facility.
 
They were reportedly denied attention for several hours at another hospital when they went for a rape kit exam.
 
In a statement Tuesday afternoon, the Ministry said the review is to determine what breaches occurred and the action to be taken.
 
Minister of Health and Wellness Dr. Christopher Tufton said the panel comprises representatives of the South East Regional Health Authority and the Southern Regional Health Authority. 
 
The Gleaner newspaper on Sunday reported that a mother and her two daughters were raped in their St. Catherine community and were turned away by doctors at May Pen Hospital.
 
The police were instructed to take them to Spanish Town Hospital as the incident occurred in St. Catherine.
 
At the Spanish Town Hospital, the police officers were allegedly lambasted for bringing the victims for treatment at 2 o'clock in the morning.
 
The rape kit exams were reportedly done six hours later.
 
St. Andrade Sinclair, CEO of the May Pen Hospital, told the Gleaner that his investigations found that the police and doctors on duty agreed that the victims should go to Spanish Town Hospital as the police had only one rape kit and the hospital did not have any in storage.
 
CISOCA
 
The Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA), said it has put measures in place to ensure that its out stations are supplied with rape kits.
 
There are 14 CISOCA out stations across Jamaica.
 
Speaking Tuesday on TVJ's Smile Jamaica, Sergeant Florene Clarke who is attached to CISOCA, said efforts are being made to ensure there is no shortfall in the supply of rape kits, especially since the incident in Clarendon was reported.  
 
Medical doctor Superintendent Sheryl Mae Burke, who is assigned to CISOCA, outlined that, while CISOCA is equipped with rape kits, a rape victim should be "able to attend any public health facility. If they are ill-equipped or unable to assist you, then they will advise the police or they will advise you that you should actually be at the public hospital."
 
 


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