TREATMENT AND CARE FOR VICTIMS OF GUNSHOT ACT 2017: WHAT THE LAW SAYS
The Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshot Act 2017 was enacted precisely on the 29th of December 2017. It provides for compulsory treatment and care for gunshot victims. The Act stipulates that persons with gunshot wounds are to be received for immediate and adequate treatment by any hospital in Nigeria with or without initial monetary deposit and also without a Police report.
The law however states that, It shall be the duty of any hospital that receives or accepts any person with a gunshot wound to report the fact to the nearest police station within two (2) hours of commencement of treatment. And upon receipt of the aforesaid report, the Police shall immediately commence investigation with a view to determining the circumstances under which the person was shot.The Police may not receive any person with gunshot wounds from the hospital for the purposes of investigation unless and until the Chief Medical Director of the hospital certifies him fit and no longer in dire need of Medicare.
It is also our duty under this Act to render every possible assistance to any person with gunshot wounds and ensure that the person is taken to the nearest hospital for immediate treatment. There is no need for the usual scare of police intimidation and maybe subsequent arrest as the law also states that every volunteer or helper of a victim shall be treated with respect and shall not be subjected to unnecessary and embarrassing interrogation in their genuine attempt to save life.
Any person who is guilty of an offence under this Act especially, when the offence does not lead to death of victim but led to substantial physical, mental, emotional and psychological damage, shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not more than 15 years and not less than 5 years without the option of fine.
It is also the duty of the hospital that receives any person with gunshot wounds to notify the family members or relations of the victim as far as they may ascertain within twenty-four hours of becoming aware of the victim’s identity.
Any person or authority including any Police officer or other security agents or hospital who stands by or omits to do his bit which results in the unnecessary death of any person with bullet wounds commits an offence and shall on conviction be liable to 5 years imprisonment a fine of #50,000.00 or both.
In addition to any other penalty under this Act, the High Court shall order a person or corporate body convicted of an offence, to make restitution to the victim by directing that person or corporate body to pay
to the victim( s), an amount equivalent to the loss sustained by the victim(s).
An order of restitution may be enforced by the victim or by the prosecutor on behalf of the victim in the same manner as a judgment in a civil action.
Medical practitioners pls take note to avoid court case and probably loosing money and ending up in jail. Prevention is better than Cure.