HPCSA investigation into forced sterilisations 'ongoing'

Organisation: Position: Deadline Date: Location:

The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) is still investigating cases of forced or coerced sterilisations in South Africa. News24 quotes communications manager, Priscilla Sekhonyana, as saying: "The matter is still under investigation."

The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) released a report – in February 2020 – which found the practice of forced or coerced sterilisation of women living with HIV in South Africa's public hospitals was "cruel, torturous or inhuman and degrading treatment".

The Chapter 9 institution received a complaint on 20 March 2015 from the Women's Legal Centre on behalf of Her Rights Initiative and the International Community of Women living with HIV. The report made several findings and recommendations, including that medical staff breached their duty of care to the women.

However, due to lost files, it was difficult for the CGE to identify the exact medical practitioners involved in the sterilisation of women living with HIV in South Africa.

The report, which sampled 15 hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, where most of the complaints were lodged, was referred to several parties, including the HPCSA.

According to News24, it was previously reported that the CGE also referred its report to the South African Nursing Council and the national Health Department. The body also made several recommendations, which included petitions to the South African Law Reform Commission, for amendment to legislation to ensure consent was properly obtained in this practice.

 

Full News24 report (Open access)

 

Commission for Gender Equality report

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