Chris Steven, Abuja
The Senate has passed a bill which seeks to establish a law that ensures that victims of gunshot wounds receive necessary treatment.
The bill which was passed on Tuesday under the name the Compulsory Treatment and Care of Victims of Gunshots Bill, when signed into law will prevent medical workers from denying care to gunshot victims.
According to Bukola Saraki, Senate President, the bill will help put a legal framework in place to prevent unnecessary loss of lives, especially as not every gunshot victim is a criminal.
“By the passage of this Bill, the Senate has moved to ensure that every hospital in Nigeria, both public and private, must accept to treat victims of gunshot wounds without any clearance from the police,” Saraki.
“What we have done is to ensure that everyone is entitled to medical treatment, irrespective of the cause of the shooting. We should reserve judgment for the criminal justice system, and leave healthcare for the medical professionals.”
The Compulsory Treatment and Care of Victims of Gunshots Bill also ensures that every person, including security agents, should render every possible assistance to any person with gunshot wounds and ensure that the person is taken to the nearest hospital for treatment.
Additionally, the bill mandates that no person with gunshot wounds should be refused immediate and adequate treatment by any hospital in Nigeria, whether or not the initial monetary deposit is paid.