The Senate on Tuesday passed for second reading, a bill seeking to establish an emergency fund for treatment of gunshot victims as well as other life-threatening emergencies.
The proposed legislation, seeking to amend the Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshots Act 2017, was sponsored by Senator Oluremi Tinubu (APC, Lagos).
Tinubu, in a lead debate, said the Act was to enforce the treatment of victims of gunshot injuries who were being refused treatment by hospitals as a result of a misinterpretation of Section 4 of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provision) Act 1990.
“In a country where emergency response is almost non-existent, and getting victims to the hospital is already burdensome, it is sad that where the victims make it to a hospital alive, they’re still denied treatment and left to die,” she said.
Senator Emmanuel Bwacha (PDP, Taraba) said providing treatment for victims of gunshot injuries would assist security agencies in securing information from such persons needed to curb criminality in the country.
Senator Ibikunle Amosun (APC, Ogun) said the sanctity of life must be protected at all cost, noting that “Even if those people have committed those crimes, it is when they are alive that they can face the music, and others will learn from it.”
The bill was referred to the Joint Committees on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters; and Health (Secondary and Tertiary) for further legislative work.