Alleged assault spurs stiffer hospital rules
The Vancouver Island Health Authority said they now have stricter policies in deciding which patients are admitted to mixed-gender rooms.
The beefed up measures come after an 83-year-old woman was allegedly sexually assaulted at the Cowichan District Hospital a few days before Christmas.
The executive director of patient flow and care transitions, Elim Bjarnason, said they have reviewed the incident and will try to limit the number of patients being admitted to mixed-gender rooms.
“We have zero tolerance for violence of any sort and this incident is… utterly despicable,” she said. “We are horrified by this.”
Bjarnason said policies were in place before, but they’ll now scrutinize patients more closely before deciding who rooms with whom.
“Though we had expectations, we weren’t as clear on some of the specifics related to the cognitive abilities of patients in mixed-gender rooms or any type of violent behaviours.”
The elderly victim is still being treated at a health care facility. Duncan/North Cowichan RCMP arrested a 48-year-old man in relation to the alleged incident. He faces a charge of sexual assault and is due in court in Duncan Feb. 14.
Photo: Cowichan District Hospital
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