The Lagos State Police Command has warned hospitals and doctors to henceforth desist from rejecting gunshot victims, saying such act constitutes a flagrant violation of an existing law.
In a statement on Wednesday by the Command’s Public Relations Officer, Chike Oti, they said doctors who do so are criminally liable on account of the provision of the Compulsory Treatment and Care of Victims of Gunshot Act, 2017.
The Command issued the statement following a report on the refusal of a hospital to treat a victim who was shot and wounded by armed robbers in his house at Ofada-Mokoloki area of Ogun State.
It noted that requesting a police report to treat the victim was unlawful and inexcusable, noting that it would henceforth arrest and prosecute any medical practitioner who rejects gunshot victims on such ground.
“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.
“The Act, however, requires the hospital treating such a patient to report the fact to the nearest police station within two hours of commencement of treatment,” the statement read.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Imohimi Edgal, who was saddened by the allegation against the said hospital, consequently directed the arrest of any medical practitioner who violates the law.
He further directed all Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers in the state to diligently prosecute any medical practitioner who rejects a gunshot victim on the ground of no police report.
“The CP wants doctors to 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 added.