The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has commended President Muhammad Buhari for signing into law, the Bill for Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshot saying it is an important legislation that will address the unnecessary discrimination that often results in needless loss of lives in hospitals across the nation.
The Acting Executive Secretary of the Commission Mrs. Oti Ovrawah who made this commendation in Abuja said that the Bill has long been awaited and therefore called on the relevant authorities including hospital management and staff, law enforcement agencies and the general public to ensure that the new law is effectively implemented to guard against further loss of lives as a result of gunshot injuries.
The law prohibits hospital authorities or staff from demanding initial deposit of money before treatment, from any person that brings gunshot victims to hospital or any form of discrimination/ill-treatment including the demand for police report.
In the same vein, she commended the President for signing into law, the Anti-Torture Act, 2017 which makes comprehensive provisions for penalizing the acts of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, and prescribes penalties for the commission of such acts.
Mrs. Ovrawah also used the opportunity to thank the initiators of the Bills and the National Assembly for their input and pledged the readiness of the Commission to liaise with the relevant government agencies and other stakeholders to ensure that the citizens are adequately sensitized on the provisions of these laws to enable them enjoy their full benefits.
The Acting Head of the Commission further used this medium to call on the federal government to further strengthen the capacity of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) so that it could properly take care of every citizen saying that the constitutionally guaranteed right to life cannot be realized without the provision of affordable and accessible healthcare.