Senate okays compulsory treatment, care for gunshot victims

Police officers patrol near a journalist during a protest by the Abuja wing of the "Bring Back Our Girls" group, calling for the release of the Nigerian schoolgirls in Chibok who were kidnapped by Islamist militant group Boko Haram, in Abuja May 22, 2014. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde (NIGERIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CRIME LAW) - RTR3QG7U

By Ezrel Tabiowo Abuja

Th e Senate yesterday passed the Compulsory Treatment and Care of Victims of Gunshots Bill. Th e Bill, which was sent to the Senate for Concurrence, sought to establish a law that ensures that victims of gunshot receive necessary treatment from medical workers and assistance from security agencies. Speaking on the passage of

Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, stated that “not every victim of a gunshot is a criminal, hence, it is important that a legal framework be put in 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. “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.” Th e 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 person is taken to the nearest hospital for treatment. Th is brings the total number of Bills passed by the 8th Senate since June 9, 2015 to 108 Bills

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