Before the passage of a bill sponsored by Senator Monsurat Sunmonu, gunshot victims were denied medical treatment until they presented a police report.
The restriction, which was aimed at preventing shot and fleeing armed robbers from accessing medical treatment, became counterproductive as it led to the death of victims of highway or home robberies.
So now, gunshot victims are treated first before the request for police report. The law to that effect was passed following a bill aponsored by Senator Sunmonu, representing Oyo Central Senatorial District, in November 2016.
In an interview at the weekend, the senator explained that members of the public were often afraid to help victims for fear of being treated like suspects and saddled with responsibility of proving their own innocence just because they rendered help. She said there was a need to build public confidence in the system.
She had argued that many gunshot victims often die as hospitals demand police reports before treating them. She said if they are treated immediately and their lives are saved, the police may actually be able to interrogate them and extract more information from them about criminal cartels.
The senator called for a look at the bigger picture, arguing that failure to treat such persons was analogous to a deprivation of the right to life- a constitutionally enshrined right that can only be removed in execution of a judgment of a superior court.
She called for training of police officers and medical staff to deal with victims and those who help in a non-accusatory manner.
Recall that in April, the Oyo State Police Command directed hospitals to commence treatment of victims of gunshot wounds before processing police report.