The Lagos State Government has urged hospitals to stop rejecting gunshot victims and other trauma patients on the excuse of requiring a police report.
The appeal was made by the State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi on Sunday, December 29th while reacting to investigations by the Ministry of Health revealing that some health facilities in the State are in the habit of rejecting or delaying care to trauma victims which has in some cases resulted in avoidable loss of lives, noted that several times such patients are not in a position to discuss the incidence or finance and are often brought in by good Samaritans. He said;
“These deaths would have been avoided if health care providers were conversant with the Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshot Act, 2017 which stipulates that victims of gunshot and traumatic accidents should receive immediate treatment when presenting to healthcare facilities.”
“Such critical care should include where necessary all measures to stabilize the patient before onward referral to more equipped facilities. Simple procedures such as attempts to arrest bleeding or intravenous fluids could make all the difference to saving life.”
The Commissioner explained that the Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshot Act makes provisions for obligatory treatment and care for victims of gunshots stressing that the law stipulates that a person with a gunshot wound shall be received for immediate and adequate treatment by any hospital in Nigeria.
“With this Act, it has become legally wrong for healthcare providers to delay attending to victims of gunshots and any other trauma under any circumstances. It is in this wise that I want to make it clear that the Lagos State Government will not hesitate to explore this law and to apply suitable sanctions against facilities that contravene the principle and body of the act,” Abayomi stated.