The Senate on Tuesday passed the Compulsory Treatment and Care of Victims of Gunshots Bill aimed at ensuring that victims of gunshot wounds receive treatment from medical workers and assistance from security agencies.
Speaking on the passage of the Bill, the Senate President, Abubakar Saraki, said not every victim of gunshot wound is a criminal, hence, it is important that a legal framework be put into place to avoid unnecessary loss of lives.
“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,” the Senate President said.
“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 shall render every possible assistance to any person with gunshot wounds and ensure that the victim is taken to the nearest hospital for treatment.
Additionally, the Bill mandates that no person with gunshot wounds shall be refused immediate and adequate treatment by any hospital in Nigeria whether or not initial monetary deposit is paid.