Chukwu decries rejection of gunshot victims

By The Citizen
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The Federal Government has asked Nigerians to report any doctor or hospital that refuses to treat people with gunshot wounds to the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, describing it as unethical and criminal.

The Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, who said this in an interview with The PUNCH in Abuja, also assured that the MDCN would investigate the matter and probably take the offending doctor to the tribunal which has the same power as any high court in Nigeria.

According to him, both the Office of the Inspector-General of Police and the Health Ministry had, for long, independently warned that on no account should any hospital reject someone with gunshot wounds except when that hospital does not have enough facilities to handle such a case.

He said, 'For instance, we know that not every hospital can manage an injury in the chest or in the brain, but it is the duty of that hospital to stabilise and then refer the victim; but you cannot reject a patient just because he/she is a victim of gunshot wounds.

'Any hospital or doctor who disobeys this directive should be reported to the appropriate authorities. Certainly, in the cases of federal establishments, you can report administratively to the Ministry of Health or to the Director of Hospital Services or to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health. Others could be reported to the MDCN. Punch