Not a full week after the ‘Eighth of March’ March, the unexpeditious judiciary and the Doctors’ Chamber clearly send the message that women in the country may survive, but will hardly get justice.
15th March 2023 – Gender Equality Platform is appalled by the latest scandalous case involving a women undergoing a double mastectomy on account of a wrong breast cancer diagnosis, and utterly revolted by the responsible institutions’ inertness and the flagrant infraction of the law, especially when it comes to gross violation of the right to health.
At the same time, the Platform, consisting of organisations fighting for women’s rights and which are, to a great extent, managed and composed of women, feels sympathetic with the patient whose right to health and bodily autonomy has been seriously violated, leaving serious consequences to her wellbeing and quality of life.
According to the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, an organisation member of the Platform, ever since 2018, when the patient filed a criminal complaint against the two doctors and the Radiotherapy and Oncology Clinic for serious offences against people’s health and for unconscientious performance at work, until today, the Public Prosecutor’s Office has not taken the decision to press charges or terminate the investigation procedure. Moreover, the Higher Public Prosecutor’s Office – which responded pursuant to the Helsinki Committee’s petition – has reported that the Basic Public Prosecutor’s Office has acted in compliance with the Law on Criminal Procedure and the Law on Public Prosecutor’s Office, even though the investigation procedure has continued for almost 4 years now.
The competent institutions have failed to find anything disputable in the disrespect of the legally defined deadlines, according to which the investigation procedure may take no longer than 13 months, nor in the lack of expeditiousness in the Doctors’ Chamber, which sent its Report on Conducting Extraordinary Inspection Supervision more than 2 years later, only upon insistence from the Helsinki Committee.
It is therefore with great revolt and disappointment that we find both the judiciary and the Doctors’ Chamber committedly contributing in this way to the culture of impunity, distrust in the system and disrespect for human rights, thus directly supporting the systemic negligence of women’s health.
Taking all this in account, the Gender Equality Platform demands that the Public Prosecutor’s Office takes urgent action and reaches a prosecutorial decision. There must be accountability!
Member Organisations of the Gender Equality Platform:
- Tiiiit! Inc.
- Fight like a Girl (Bori se zenski)
- Women Civic Initiative – ANTICO
- Women’s Forum
- Association for Equal Opportunities SEMPER
- Association for local and rural development
- Association for Support of Marginalized Workers STAR-STAR
- Association for the Promotion of Gender Equality Akcija Zdruzenska
- Association for Emancipation, Solidarity and Equality of Women – ESE
- Association for Educational Development Ekvalis
- Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities Skopje
- Coalition Margins
- Network for Protection against Discrimination
- National network to end violence against women and domestic violence
- National Council for Gender Equality
- Organization of Women of the City of Skopje (OWS)
- Organization of women of municipality of Sveti Nikole
- Women’s Organization “Kumanovka”
- Reactor – Research in Action
- Rural Coalition
- Helsinki Committee for Human Rights
- HERA – Health Education and Research Association
- HOPS – Healthy Options Project Skopje
- Humanitarian Association “Mother”
- Center for Research and Policy Making – CRPM