The Nigerian Senate passed the Compulsory Treatment and Care of Victims of Gunshots Bill.
The bill ensures that such victims receive necessary treatment from medical workers as well as assistance from security agencies.
Senate President Bukola Saraki said not every victim of a gunshot wound is a criminal and as such, “it is important that a legal framework be put in place to avoid unnecessary loss of lives”.
He said passage of the bill meant that hospitals in the country would now treat victims of gunshot wounds “without any clearance from the police”.
“What we have done is to ensure that everyone is entitled to medical treatment, irrespective of the cause of the shooting. We should reserve judgment for the criminal justice system, and leave healthcare for the medical professionals,” he said.
The bill also mandates every person, including security agents, to render “every possible assistance” to victims of gunshot wounds, including taking such persons to the nearest hospital for treatment.
It also directs hospitals in the country to adequately treat such victims with or without initial monetary deposit as a refusal to do so is termed unlawful.