Nigerian Hospitals and the Regulation as a Hope for Gunshot Victims -By Ebere Ndubueze
Ada, a passerby was hit by stray bullet from a Police assault on #EndSARS protesters and rushed to “We care about your life” – the closest Hospital, by a superb Samaritan. “We care about your life” refuses to take care of Ada as a result of she is a gunshot sufferer and for concern that she is likely to be a prison, thereby leading to her demise; a giant blow on Ada’s household. Plot twist; “We care about your life” is oblivious that it has simply dedicated an offence, for which it may be prosecuted and made to pay closely.
It was once the case that Non-public Hospitals request Police report or clearance earlier than administering remedy to gunshot victims, for causes of Police unfavourable interference, amongst others. As unhappy as this sounds, it nonetheless is the truth this 2020, regardless of a legislative intervention in 2017 by the use of enacting the Obligatory Remedy and Care of Victims of Gunshot Act 2017, hereinafter known as “the Act”.
This text offers Hospitals, the Nigerian Police Drive, different Safety Businesses and members of the general public with perception on the right way to act within the occasion of a affected person, citizen or beloved one affected by gunshot harm.
Key Provisions of the Act
The Act consisting of I6 Sections and being a Federal laws, is binding on all States within the Federation. The mixed impact of sections 1 and a pair of of the Act, mandates each Hospital in Nigeria to simply accept and start satisfactory remedy on any individual with a gunshot wound, with or with out Police clearance / report and even preliminary financial deposit. It additionally reaffirms the constitutional proper to dignity of human individual of gunshot victims, by offering that they shall not be subjected to torture, inhuman or degrading remedy by any individual or authority together with the Police and different Safety Businesses. Once more, it confers an obligation to help gunshot victims to the closest Hospital, on any good Samaritan together with Safety Brokers across the gunshot scene, who will likely be revered and guarded for rendering such help.
Whereas a hospital that takes a gunshot sufferer for remedy, is required to maintain file of such; it is usually responsibility certain to report back to the closest Police station inside 2 hours of commencing such remedy. Upon receipt of this report, the Police is supposed to analyze into circumstances underneath which the sufferer was shot and shall not invite the sufferer in the middle of such investigation, besides the Chief Medical Officer of the hospital certifies that the sufferer is match and not in want of pressing medical consideration.
The Hospital is notably mandated to inform the kinfolk of the gunshot sufferer underneath their care of that reality, inside 24 hours of figuring out the sufferer’s identification.
Offences and Penalty
Any Hospital that fails to report back to the Police inside two hours of commencing remedy on a gunshot sufferer, commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a advantageous of 100,000 naira; and any Physician concerned within the remedy, shall be liable to the identical advantageous quantity or six months’ imprisonment time period or each.
The place any individual or physique, Police officer or different Safety Agent, or Hospital Employees, fail to carry out their responsibility of help and remedy underneath the Act, and it leads to the pointless demise of the gunshot sufferer, they are going to be liable on conviction to a advantageous of 500,000 naira or 5 years’ imprisonment time period or each.
Along with different penalty within the Act, the Court docket might order the Hospital to compensate the sufferer by paying an quantity equal to the loss suffered by the sufferer. This treatment is viable the place the sufferer didn’t die from the gunshot harm, however sustained different type of loss, like lack of leg or different physique components.
Conclusion: Means ahead
Shedding cash by the use of paying Court docket ordered damages, is just not certainly one of a Hospital’s monetary objective; therefore the necessity to keep away from such legal responsibility by adhering to the provisions of the Obligatory Remedy and Care of Victims of Gunshot Act 2017. This underscores the dire want of Hospitals in Nigeria to have an in-house Authorized Counsel, who will advise them on authorized issues pertaining to their medical apply.
Conscious of its grave penalties, BabatundeIrukera, the Chief Government of the Federal Competitors and Shopper Safety Fee (FCCPC) has warned that the demand of Police report earlier than Hospitals attend to sufferers, should finish.
Although no report is had but of a case implementing rights underneath the Act, there are ongoing instances in Courts on this regard. The Act is believable and there’s a lot to achieve by aggrieved individuals underneath it. So anybody who encounters such state of affairs the place a hospital fails in its responsibility underneath the Act, thereby leading to demise or substantial injury to a beloved one, can contact a lawyer to assist set the regulation in movement and get justice for the sufferer.
– Ebere Ndubueze LLB, AICMC, BL (in view).
Part 8, Obligatory Remedy and Care of Victims of Gunshot Act 2017.
Sections 12, 3 and 4, Obligatory Remedy and Care of Victims of Gunshot Act 2017.
Part 10, Obligatory Remedy and Care of Victims of Gunshot Act 2017.
Part 5, Obligatory Remedy and Care of Victims of Gunshot Act 2017.
Part 11, Obligatory Remedy and Care of Victims of Gunshot Act 2017.
Part 14, Obligatory Remedy and Care of Victims of Gunshot Act 2017.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/businessday.ng/uncategorized/article/why-doctors-insist-on-police-report-to-treat-accident-gunshot-victims/amp/ Accessed nineteenth October 2020.
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