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Patient Accuses Radiologist of Sexual Assault

Mar 31, 2023

Patient Accuses Radiologist of Sexual Assault

Kevin Bernard

It is one of the worst things that can happen – a medical professional in who trust is placed to carry out a job, and that individual perverts that role and sexually abuses the patient. It is not a common allegation that has surfaced in the news in Belize, but it is making the news now. A young woman who was referred to a private clinic in Toledo for a procedure on Sunday has written a detailed letter to the Minister of Health and Wellness, Kevin Bernard, the Minister responsible for the police, Kareem Musa, and the Minister of Human Development, Dolores Balderamos-Garcia and copied to six heads of various medical bodies and entities in the hope that an investigation is carried out and that swift action is taken against the person, in this case, identified as a radiologist. The patient’s letter claims that when the procedure that was recommended was complete, the radiologist then said he’d perform another procedure, one which the patient indicates was not recommended, but one that she allowed because she trusted his expertise. However, that was where things went wrong for the patient. In her letter, she gave details of what the person did and for what length of time and how he behaved during and after, which made her feel uncomfortable and violated. She noted that he removed his glass and face mask as if to make eye contact with her. The patient said that when she spoke to other women who have taken the procedure and they assured her that what she experienced was not a medical procedure, she decided to file a police complaint and to write her letter seeking an investigation. Today Minister of Health and Wellness, Kevin Bernard told the media that 

Kevin Bernard, Minister of Health & Wellness

“All I will answer to this letter at this point, and I take it very seriously, all my comment will be at this point is that I have asked the Director of Hospital Services to take quick action, to investigate. Of course there is a process. This specific doctor, while it was his private clinic, works with the Western Regional Hospital. And so because of the allegation – and we have to claim it as an allegation first – it has to go through the Public Service Commission. These complaints have to go to the Public Service Commission and the Medical Council.  And so I will leave it at that for now until that can take its necessary due process, I cannot really make any further comment. But all I can say is that we take that allegation very seriously and we are going to ensure that we act swiftly. If it turns out to be true, then all necessary actions will have to be taken.”

News Five also reached out to the Chair of the Medical and dental Council, Doctor Atanacio Cob, who indicated that there have been reported cases of sexual assault made against medical professionals before and that an investigation would determine the outcome and what recommended penalties, if the medical officer is found to be guilty of the allegation.