By Emmanuel Aziken
Abuja â€” A bill to compel hospitals and health workers to provide emergency treatment for victims of gun shot wounds, irrespective of a Police report or cash deposit, has been introduced into the Senate.
Interest on the bill follows last monthâ€™s death of The Guardianâ€™s Bayo Ohu following lack of medical attention after gun shot wounds inflicted on him by alleged assassins.
The bill, sponsored by Senator Osita Izunaso, himself a former journalist, prescribes a N100,000 fine or a six-month imprisonment for doctors and health workers who default in treating the gun shot victims. It also requires them to report such cases to the Police within two hours of the commencement of treatment.
The bill titled, An Act to Make Provisions for the Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshots and Other Matters Connected Therewith, is expected to be considered in the next few weeks.
Section 3 of the bill reads:
(i) No person with gunshot wound shall be refused immediate and adequate treatment by any hospital in Nigeria whether or not initial monetary deposit is paid.
(ii) No person with a bullet wound shall be subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment or torture by any person or authority including the police or other security agencies.
The bill also provides volunteers, who until now have shied away from helping victims of gunshot wounds on account of Police trouble, some measure of protection.