Lagos Govt sends strong warning to hospitals over rejection of gunshot victims

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The Lagos State Government has sent a strong warning to all health care providers, including public and private health facilities operating in the state to stop rejecting gunshot victims and other trauma patients with the excuse of requiring a police report or the need to provide evidence of funds before commencing treatment.

This was contained in a statement issued by the state commissioner for health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, on Sunday, December 29 while reacting to investigations by the Ministry of Health.

Abayomi, however, urged hospitals, health centres and clinics to offer immediate comprehensive care to gunshot victims and other trauma patients in line with the Federal Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshot Act, 2017.

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.

“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.”

While noting that the primary concern of the Act borders on access to prompt medical care, the Commissioner averred that the sanctity of human life should be the first consideration for any healthcare provider irrespective of circumstances leading to incident involving the trauma victim.

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