The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has restated that doctors and hospital personnel are mandated to treat gunshot and stab victims without requesting for any police report.
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.
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.
Speaking in an interview, 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, The Guardian reports.
“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.”
According to Mba:
“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.”