Reps Decry Rejection Of Accident, Gunshot Victims By Hospitals

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House of Representatives on Tuesday called for drastic action against health facilities that refuse to treat accident or gunshot patients without police reports.
Consequently, the House urged the Federal Ministry of Health and its regulatory authorities to take immediate and decisive action to address the issue and enforce regulations prohibiting hospitals from denying or delaying emergency medical care to victims of those incidents without a police report and impose appropriate sanctions and penalties.
This was sequel to adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon. Odianosen Okojie from Edo state at plenary.
He stated that the provisions of Section 1 of the Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshot Act, 2017 provides that every hospital is to receive and treat victims of gunshot wounds with or without police clearance and/or payment of an initial deposit, but are duty bound to report to the nearest police station within hours of commencing treatment on the victim.
Okojie noted that Section 7 of the Act states that “any authority or person whose omission results in the unnecessary death of a gunshot victim shall be liable to imprisonment for five years or a fine in the sum of N500, 000.00 or both.”
According to him, immediate medical attention is crucial for survival and quality of life for accident or gunshot victims, and hospitals and healthcare facilities have an ethical and legal obligation to preserve human life regardless of the circumstances.
The lawmaker observed that despite the Act providing for the compulsory treatment and care for victims of gunshots by hospitals in the country, there are rising cases of medical personnel refusing to treat victims due to absence of doctors’ reports.
“Also aware that patients requiring emergency medical treatment due to accidents or gunshot injuries usually face denial or delayed access to healthcare services if they fail to present a police report.
“Concerned that many victims of accidents or gunshots are unable to obtain a police report promptly, given the severity of their injuries, the absence of law enforcement at the scene, or other relevant factors beyond their control.
“Worried that the refusal of hospitals to treat patients without a police report is a direct violation of the principles of medical ethics, professional conduct, and the universal right of individuals to access healthcare.
“Alarmed that existing laws and regulations do not explicitly prohibit hospitals from refusing treatment to accident or gunshot victims without a police report, thereby perpetuating the unjust practices,” he maintained.
While adopting the motion, the House urged the Federal Ministry of Information, through the National Orientation Agency to organise an awareness campaign to educate the public, hospitals, and healthcare professionals about the necessity of immediate medical assistance for accident or gunshot victims.
The Green Chamber mandated the Committee on Healthcare Services to ensure compliance and report back within four weeks for further legislative actions.



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