University of Free State (UFS) medical students are set to return to Bloemfontein’s Pelonomi Hospital to commence their practical training after the institution halted students’ training at the hospital following the attempted rape of a medical intern and the robbery of a nurse at the hospital last week.
UFS management said a meeting with the department of health officials, Pelonomi Hospital management and the police was held on Monday to iron out security issues at the hospital.
“The department provided the university with a security project plan comprising immediate and medium-term interventions, and a commitment to execute the plan as a matter of urgency,” the institution said.
“The university’s executive management furthermore met with the management of the Faculty of Health Sciences and, based on a safety risk assessment, the university’s executive management agreed that undergraduate students could again fully access the clinical platform at Pelonomi Hospital.”
A new security plan includes the installation of high-mast lights in the hospital precinct, repairing of a perimeter fence, and limiting access to the hospital after 8pm until 6am.
A security centre consisting of the police, security guards, and the local policing forum will also be established at the hospital.
Security lapses at the hospital came under the spotlight after a 24-year-old female doctor fought off a man and bit his tongue off when he tried to rape her at the hospital.
A few days later, another doctor was held at gunpoint by three men who took her cellphone. Security guards heard her screaming and arrived to rescue her. The assailants managed to flee on foot.
A case of robbery and pointing of firearm is being investigated by the police.