Today, the Nigerian Senate passed the Compulsory Treatment and Care of Victims of Gunshots Bill. The Bill, which was sent to the Senate for Concurrence, seeks to establish a law that ensures that victims of gunshot wounds receive necessary treatment from medical workers and assistance from security agencies.
Speaking on the passage of the Bill, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, stated that not every victim of a 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. 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 person 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.
This brings the total number of Bills passed by the 8th Senate since June 9th, 2015, to 108 Bills.