Free Services At Last: Medical Regulations on Sexual Offences Act

As we mark the end of the 2012,16 days of activism,survivors of sexual violence can breath a sigh of relief with the gazetment of the medical regulations on sexual offences act via legal notice 133.

The provisions of the medical regulations on  sexual offences act are:

 THE SEXUAL OFFENCES (MEDICAL TREATMENT) REGULATIONS, 2012

Citation. 1.    These Regulations may be cited as the Sexual Offences (Medical Treatment) Regulations, 2012.

Interpretation. 2.    In these Regulations, unless the context otherwise requires—  “designated person” includes—\

(a)    a nurse registered under section 12(1) or enrolled under section 14 (1) of the Nurses Act; and Cap. 257.

(b)    a clinical officer registered -under section 7 of the Clinical Officers (Training, Registration and Licensing) Act; Cap 260. “medical practitioner” means a medical practitioner registered in accordance with section 6 of the Medical Practitioners and Dentist Act; Cap. 253.

“medical treatment” includes counseling; “public hospital” means a Government health facility at all levels of health care, or such other health facility as may be designated, by notice in the Gazette, as a public hospital for the purpose of this Act

Rights to medical treatment 3.  

(1) A victim, suspect, a person convicted or witness of a sexual offence has the right to medical treatment in a public hospital, private hospital or any other medical facility.

(2)    The expenses incurred by a victim, a person who is suspected to have committed a sexual offence, a person convicted or witness of a sexual offence for medical treatment in a public hospital shall be borne by the Government.

(3) A victim of a sexual offence shall be entitled to receive medical treatment at any medical facility, whether they have or have not reported the matter to the police

(4) The Minister may, at any time, enter into agreements with private hospitals or any other health facility to be designated as public hospitals for purposes of the Act

Notification. 4.    A police officer who is on duty shall, who receives a report that a sexual offence has been committed against anyone, notify a medical practitioner or designated person at any health facility and refer the victim of the sexual offence to the medical practitioner or designated person at any health facility. 

Medical examination. 5. 

(1) A court may order the collection of the appropriate samples from any person who has been charged with a sexual offence, under the Act, at such place and subject to such conditions that the court may specify.

(2) Upon receiving an order made under paragraph (1), a police officer of any rank above the rank of police constable shall request any medical practitioner or designated person to take the appropriate samples from the person charged with a sexual offence.

(3) The medical practitioner or designated person shall determine the samples to take, the parts of the body from which the samples shall be taken from and the quantity that is reasonably necessary in accordance with the national guidelines for the management of sexual violence.

6. (1) Upon receiving the notification given under regulation 4, the medical practitioner or designated person shall—

(a)    conduct a full medical-forensic examination on the victim and prescribe the appropriate medical treatment; and

(b)    Provide appropriate professional counseling to the victims of the sexual offence;

(c)    complete the prescribed Post Rape Care form and psychological assessment form as set out in the schedule and any other relevant records;

(d)    collect and preserve the necessary medical forensic samples in accordance with the national guidelines on management of sexual violence;

(e)    inform and forward to the investigating officer or his or her representative, the samples collected, while maintaining a record of the chain of custody by appending his or her signature for the samples; and

(f)    initiate appropriate referral to the relevant areas for subsequent areas for the necessary subsequent care (2) A medical practitioner or designated person shall also provide the medical treatment prescribed in paragraph (1) (a), (b), (d), (e) and (f) to a person who is suspected to have committed a sexual offence. (3) The medical practitioner or designated person may, where they deem appropriate, conduct other examinations and treatment on the victim of sexual offence(s), witnesses or a person who is suspected to have committed a sexual offence.

In short,the medical regulations on  sexual offences act,call for people to report such cases as services can be received for free in all  health facilities.

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