Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Akin Abayomi, issued a statement on Sunday appealing to all “health care providers, including public and private health facilities operating in the State to stop the trend of rejecting gunshot victims and other trauma patients on the excuse of requiring a police report or the need to provide evidence of funds before commencing treatment”.
The statement is a reaction to investigations by the Ministry of Health revealing that some health facilities in the state are in the habit of rejecting or delaying care to trauma victims, which has in some cases resulted in avoidable loss of lives.
He urged hospitals, health centres and clinics to offer immediate comprehensive care to gunshot victims and other trauma patients without let or hindrance in line with the Federal Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshot Act, 2017.
He noted that health care providers hold it duty-bound according to their professional oaths to first save lives by offering immediate attention to any patient requiring urgent critical and lifesaving supportive care before any other considerations.
Akin Abayomi said:
Such critical care should include where necessary all measures 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.