The Lagos State Government has urged all the health facilities in the state to attend to trauma patients before requesting a police report or the need to provide evidence of funds, adding that it would not hesitate to sanction erring facilities.
This call came after an investigation by the state’s Ministry of Health revealed that some health facilities in the state were in the habit of rejecting trauma patients.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Akin Abayomi, said the rejection of these patients, who are usually brought to the hospital by Good Samaritans, had resulted in avoidable loss of lives.
He said, “I want to appeal to all health care providers, including public and private health facilities operating in the state, to stop the trend of rejecting gunshot victims and other trauma patients on the excuse of requiring a police report or the need to provide evidence of funds before commencing treatment.
“They should offer immediate comprehensive care to gunshot victims and other trauma patients without hindrance in line with the Federal Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshot Act, 2017.
“These deaths would have been avoided if health care providers were conversant with the Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshot Act, 2017 which stipulates that victims of gunshot and traumatic accidents should receive immediate treatment when presented to health care facilities.
“With this Act, it has become legally wrong for health care providers to delay attending to victims of gunshots and any other trauma under any circumstances.
“It is in this wise that I want to make it clear that the Lagos State Government will not hesitate to explore this law and apply suitable sanctions against facilities that contravene the principle and body of the Act.”
Abayomi said there were ongoing plans to review and revise the Lagos State Emergency Policies and Procedures in order to ensure prompt care for accident and trauma victims as well as service officials injured in the course of duty.