The Nigeria Police Force has restated that no “Police Report” is needed before any government or privately-owned medical facility could admit and render emergency services to any victim of gunshot wounds.
The Police said every medical facility 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.
Similarly, President of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), 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 stabilise 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.”
It is the norm that people with such wounds were 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 clearance.
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.
“The only requirement of the law as regards the treatments of gunshot wounds is that medical doctors, paramedics or other health workers are required to inform the Police after treatments have commenced. In other words, this requirement does not in any way preclude or bar them from initiating medical treatments.
“Remember that fundamentally, the core duty of doctors and other professionals in the health sector is to save life.”
Mba added that: “It is sheer mischief, ignorance, disinformation or misinformation for anyone to say that you must get a Police report before you are treated as a victim of a gunshot wound. The requirement is after the doctors must have saved life and stabilised the victim, they are required to report after treatment and not before treatment.
“That requirement is intended to avoid a scenario where a suspected armed robber, cultist, kidnapper or even a terrorist, after sustaining a gunshot wound during an engagement with the Police or other law enforcement officers, gets treated and probably continues in his criminal activities.”