Nigerian hospitals no longer need police clearance to treat gunshot victims


A new law passed by Nigerian senators makes it compulsory for hospitals to treat all victims of gunshots.

TheCompulsory Treatment and Care of Victims of Gunshot Bill of 2017 which was passed by the Nigerian Senate on Tuesday ensures that gunshot victims receive necessary treatment from medical workers as well as assistance from security agencies. Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said not every victim of a gunshot wound is a criminal.

“It is important that a legal framework be put in place to avoid unnecessary loss of lives Hospitals in the country would now treat victims of gunshot wounds “without any clearance from the police.”

“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,” he said.

Another provision of the law is that every person, including security agents, must render every possible assistance to victims of gunshot wounds – such as taking such persons to the nearest hospital for treatment.

For hospitals, the law says it is illegal for gunshot victims to be denied treatment because of failure to make monetary deposit.

The lawmakers also passed the Animal Health and Husbandry Technologies (registration, etc) Bill, 2017 (HB. 320); Corporate Manslaughter Bill, 2017 (HB. 273); National Child Protection and Enforcement Agency Bill, 2017 (HB. 127) and National Intelligence Agency Pension Board Bill, 2017 (HB. 842). Others include Nigerian Academy of Science Bill, 2017 (HB. 917) and the National Postgraduate College of Medical Laboratory Science Bill (HB. 405), 2017.


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Paul is a freelance journalist, medical researcher and extensively published author. He holds a MSc degree in cell biology and genetics, and is a PhD candidate of the University of Ibadan.