• Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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Police report blocks man shot 19 times from critical care


A man shot 19 times could not get prompt critical care from Nigerian hospitals because he could not provide a police report of the incident at the point of care, Alex Onyia, CEO of Educare said in an X post about his friend, Kene.

Onyia stated that the hospital Kene was initially rushed to demand the report, despite an existing law that mandates all medical facilities to provide compulsory treatment and care for victims of gunshots.

The Gunshot Act 2017 signed into law by former President Muhammadu Buhari requires hospitals treating such gunshot victims to report to the nearest police station within two hours of commencement of treatment.

But what many Nigerians face is the denial of treatment.

Onyia said Kene was eventually saved in a London hospital where 13 of the 16 bullets have been extracted while keeping him alive.

“16 extra bullets removed from his body and three remaining. They wanted to kill my friend Kene but God said no. All hospitals rejected him and were asking for police report before treatment him. We managed to get one that attended to him until we flew him to London. Today, we thank God,” Onyia said on Tuesday.

The act further recommends a five-year jail term for any erring medical officers, hospitals, or authorities in the incident of an avoidable death of a gunshot victim.

Lack of funding for the critical care required to save gunshot victims has been identified as one of the reasons hospitals avoid such patients.

Most hospitals, especially private do not have the financing to cover costs incurred without demanding huge money deposits from relatives.

Stakeholders in healthcare including the Healthcare Federation of Nigeria have urged the federal government to make about N26.3 billion medical emergency fund accessible to most frontline hospitals confronted with patients who need it the most.

This could encourage hospitals to stop hiding behind police reports to deny care.