Date
17 October 2018
A psychiatric patient at United Christian Hospital was forced to masturbate by another patient. The suspect has been moved to another hospital and arrested. Photo: HKEJ
A psychiatric patient at United Christian Hospital was forced to masturbate by another patient. The suspect has been moved to another hospital and arrested. Photo: HKEJ

HA tightens measures after sexual assaults on mental patients

The Hospital Authority has announced measures to prevent sexual assault on psychiatric patients in public hospitals.

The move comes after two such cases were reported in just a week, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

The measures include immediate checks, increased manpower, more CCTV cameras and guidelines to monitor and protect in-patients.

The guidelines will help assess whether patients need to be put in a single ward to ensure their safety and privacy.

Also, the authority will form a committee to examine operating procedures and staff arrangements, as well as seek foreign experts’ opinions.

Calling the two recent cases “very serious”, Health Secretary Ko Wing-man said he has ordered a review of how psychiatric wards at public hospitals are being run.

Police received reports that two male mentally handicapped patients had been sexually assaulted in different hospitals in the past week.

Apple Daily reported that the family of a 13-year-old patient, who was hospitalized at the United Christian Hospital, told police that he had been forced to masturbate by another patient.

The suspect, who was later transferred to Kowloon Hospital, was arrested on Monday.

In another case, a 17-year-old boy was allegedly forced by four inmates at Kowloon Hospital to perform oral sex on each of them. The suspects, aged 38 to 56, were arrested last week.

The authority has apologized to the victims’ families.

Lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki, a medical doctor, said the two cases could be only the tip of the iceberg, according to Ming Pao Daily.

Kwok urged the authority to form a task force to investigate the situation and close potential loopholes in safety measures.

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TL/AC/RA

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