Govt issues guidelines for hospitals in sexual assault cases
New Delhi: Delhi Government on Friday issued guidelines for hospitals on handling sexual assault cases in the aftermath of the December 16 gang-rape incident which include setting up separate rooms for offering better treatment and ensuring privacy to such victims.
Health Minister AK Walia said government was determined to make sure that examination of sexual assault victims as well as furnishing of their medical reports are made smooth and hassle-free.
Delhi government had initiated consultation with various stakeholders to issue fresh guidelines for handling examination of medico-legal cases (MLC) following the nationwide outrage over the December 16 gang-rape of a 23-year-old.
Walia said directors and medical superintendents of all Delhi hospitals have been directed to make available facilities at separate rooms exclusively for examination of the victims of sexual assult.
They are also being asked to inform about location of such room to all the Heads of Department and doctors on emergency duty from time to time.
The hospitals have also been directed to make available proper furniture, basic equipment and adequate stock of forensic evidence kit in the specified room.
Further, the Chief Medical Officers are being instructed to nominate Nodal Officers to put in place the required infrastructure in each hospital for handling such cases besides carrying out day-to-day supervision of the facilities.
"The Nodal Officers will also ensure good practices on offering better care and collection of evidence," said Walia.
They will also have to make available copies of guidelines for ready reference.
The Minister said in case the victim's clothes are taken as evidence, the hospitals must provide alternate clothing to the victim.
The medical superintendents have been told to arrange
periodic training session for the doctors on protocol and guidelines on the MLC examination and collection of evidence in such cases.
They have been told to organise workshop in collaboration with Delhi Commission for Women on regular basis to sensitise the doctors and other paramedic staff.
Walia said the hospitals have been told to organise counseling for the victim and in case, they are not able to provide doctors, then arrangement will be made by Crisis Intervention Centres.
"I am confident that the new guidelines would ensure due care and proper MLC examination of sexual assault victims in shortest possible time and would overcome the existing adhocism and in-adequate management practices," the minister said.
The Delhi High Court earlier this week had asked the government to take steps to ensure there was no delay in collection of medical reports in sexual assult cases.