Hospitals in Nigeria have been given a thorough warning on what to do when gunshot victims are brought to them.
The Lagos State Police Command has warned hospital authorities against the rejection of gunshot victims or the attitude of asking for police report before treatment.
A press statement signed by the command’s spokesman on Wednesday, SP Chike Oti, said the command had to repeat the warning, following a report that one hospital in Ikeja rejected a gunshot victim.
“A senior engineer, Mr Adebayo Akinwunmi, with one information and communications technology company, was shot and wounded by armed robbers in his house at Ofada-Mokoloki, Ogun.
“He was brought to Reddington Hospital, Ikeja for treatment only to be refused admission on the grounds that there was no police report.
“The command considers the action of the hospital as cruel; perhaps, an indication that the hospital management may be ignorant of the Compulsory Treatment and Care of Victims of Gunshot Act, 2017.
“In the light of this development, the Command wishes to inform all medical practitioners in Lagos state, that the Act demands that every hospital in Nigeria, whether public or private;
“Shall accept or receive for immediate and adequate treatment with or without police clearance any person with a gunshot wounds.
According to him, the Act, however, requires the hospital treating such a patient to report the fact to the nearest police station within two hours of the commencement of treatment.
“The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, Mr Imohimi Edgal, has directed all Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers in the state to henceforth prosecute any medical practitioners, who reject gunshot victims for reasons of no police report.
“Medical doctors should note that the Act recommends a five-year-jail term for any person, hospital or authority, who stands by or omits to do his bit, which results in the unnecessary death of any person with bullet wounds,” the statement read.