The Lagos Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, has warned medical practitioners across the state to stop rejecting gunshot victims and other trauma patients.
In a statement made available to the public on Sunday, December 29, 2019, the commissioner maintained that it is illegally wrong for healthcare providers to delay attending to victims of gunshots and any other trauma under any circumstances.
According to Abayomi, the excuse of requiring a police report or the need to provide evidence of funds before commencing treatment will no longer be tolerated in the state.
The commissioner further enjoined 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 added, “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 emphasizing the need to prioritize human lives, Abayomi added that the human life should be the first consideration for any healthcare provider irrespective of circumstances leading to incident involving the trauma victim.