The Nigeria Police Force has restated that no “Police Report” is needed before any government or private hospital could admit and render emergency services to any victim of gunshot wounds.
The Police said every hospital in the country was free to receive and treat victims of gunshot wounds with or without Police clearance, but are duty-bound to report to the nearest Police station after commencing treatment of the victim.
Corroborating the statement, President of the Nigeria Medical Association, Dr. Francis Faduyile said even though several doctors have been arrested and kept behind bars, sometimes due to mundane things that are within the purview of medical management, any doctor who rejects a patient in emergency and did not stabilize his life is liable, “because the oath we took is to, first of all, save life. Once you are liable and you are found guilty, there are sanctions.”
Before now, people with such wounds were routinely rejected by hospitals because of the tendency of being harassed and incriminated by the Police, especially the rank and file, for treating such victims without first obtaining a police report.
Only recently, a young lady allegedly died in Lagos from her wound after being stabbed by armed robbers because a medical facility refused to attend to her without a Police report, although the hospital later denied refusing to treat her for any such reason.
The erroneous assumption by the Police was that every gunshot victim might have been an armed robber who escaped from a shootout with police. This initially led to the demand for such clearance.
Confirming this, The Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Mr. Frank Mba, a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), assured that the Police would not in any way operationally or administratively come in-between medical practitioners and the discharge of their fundamental responsibility.
He said: “By the laws of our land, victims of gunshot wounds, victims of road accidents, victims of life stabs or any other type of stabbing do not require a Police report before being treated by medical personnel. That position is very clear.” DCP Mba said.