Delta House of Assembly, on Wednesday, passed a bill on Compulsory Treatment and Care of Gunshot Victims.
The passage of the bill followed the adoption of the motion moved by Majority Leader of the assembly, Chief Ferguson Onwo, at the plenary presided over by Deputy Speaker, Mr Christopher Ochor, in Asaba.
Presenting the bill, Onwo said that when signed into law, it would help to speed up the treatment and care of gunshot victims.
He also said that the bill would help to abolish the request for police reports by most healthcare providers before commencing treatment of gunshot victims.
The majority leader, thereafter, moved the motion suspending Order 12, Rules 79, 80, 81, 82 and 83 to enable the assembly to take the third reading and passage of the bill.
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The motion was unanimously adopted by the lawmakers when put to a voice vote by the deputy speaker.
While commending the lawmakers for the speedy passage of the bill, he said that it had placed a duty on hospitals and other healthcare providers to administer treatment to gunshot victims, irrespective of the circumstances of the case.
”Most people have lost their loved ones to avoidable deaths due to demand for police reports by hospitals before giving treatment to gunshot victims.
”This is a great relief and victory for democracy. I, therefore, expressed my gratitude to the sponsors and all of you for the successful passage of this very important bill.
”With the passage of this bill, we have solved a puzzle that has bedevilled our society for a long time,” he said.
Speaking with newsmen shortly after the passage, the sponsor of the bill, Mr Charles Oniyere, representing Ughelli North I Constituency, said that it was targeted at saving life first.
”Life must be saved first and thereafter, we know the circumstances leading to being a gunshot victim,” he said.
Oniyere also said that there was a penalty for healthcare providers who failed to attend to victims of gunshots.
”All we have done today is to domesticate an existing federal law which most people at the grassroots are not aware of,” he said. (NAN)
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