The Lagos State Police Command wednesday vowed to prosecute any hospital in the state who rejects gunshot victims on the premise of lack of police report.
The state Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, was reacting to the recent death of a gunshot victim, one Adebayo Akinwumi, after he was rejected by three Lagos hospitals.
The deceased, who was a senior engineer with an information and communications technology company, was shot and wounded by armed robbers in his house at Ofada-Mokoloki, Ogun State.
According to the CP, he was said to have been taken to Reddington Hospital, Ikeja for treatment only to be refused admission on the unlawful and inexcusable grounds that there was no police report.
Edgal said: “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.’
“In the light of this development, the command wishes to inform all medical practitioners in Lagos State, that the Act demands that every hospital in Nigeria whether public or private shall accept or receive for immediate and adequate treatment with or without police clearance any person with a gunshot wounds.
“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.”
In a statement by the state police public relations officer, Chike Oti said: “The Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, saddened by the allegation against the Reddington Hospital, has directed all Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers in Lagos State to henceforth arrest and 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. “