Doctors to report cases of child sexual violence to police in Ekiti
Ekiti State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Olawale Fapohunda has disclosed that a law on mandatory reports by medical doctors on child sexual violence cases will be ready for public comments by the end of this week.
Fapohunda who disclosed this on Monday after a meeting he held with the executive members of the National Association of Resident Doctors in Ekiti State, said that the incidents of sexual violence against children in the State has reached such intolerable levels that require urgent response from the government.
The Attorney-General said that the new law, ‘Compulsory Treatment and Care for Child Victims of Sexual Violence Bill, 2020’ will not only provide for the treatment of children who have been raped, it will also compel medical doctors to report such cases to the nearest police station within two hours of admitting such patient with an accompanying medical report within 48 hours.
According to him, “a hospital that receives or accepts treatment for a child who has been raped must keep adequate records of the treatment and report to the nearest police station within two hours of commencement of treatment.”
Speaking further, he said, his office had reviewed the implications of the proposed law on the physicians’ ethical code and found no contradiction. “There is no provision in the Hippocratic Oath that prevents medical doctors from reporting crime, besides, doctor-patient confidentiality is not an absolute obligation that admits of no exception”, he said.
Fapohunda further stated that the proposed law specifically provides for the obligation of “every hospital in Ekiti State whether public or private to provide immediate and adequate treatment” to any child who is a victim of sexual violence.