Charge Maitama General Hospital with manslaughter – Senate

Sharon EboesomiOctober 5, 20233 min

Senator Ekpeyong assured that he will follow up to ensure stiffer penalties are replaced with a fine of N50,000 for offenders.

The Senate has directed that Maitama General Hospital be immediately charged with manslaughter over the blatant refusal to treat an accident victim, Ms. Greatness Olorunfemi.

This is as it observed a minute of silence in memory of Ms. Greatness Olorunfemi and other Nigerians, who lost their lives in similar circumstances nationwide.

The call was contained in a motion on “The Persistent Denial of Treatment and Care to Victims of Gunshot Wounds and Other Emergencies: Urgent Need to Ensure Compliance with the Provisions of the Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshots Act, 2017.”

Sponsor of the motion, Senator Asuquo Ekpenyong (APC, Cross River South), related that the Maitama Hospital in Abuja had refused to grant immediate treatment to a victim of the notorious one chance vehicle, insisting on getting a police report before attending to the lady.

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Asuquo noted that a cab driver had seen the lady and immediately rushed her to the Maitama General Hospital but, all attempts to make the hospital attend to her failed, leading to her death.

“It is disheartening that even within the Federal Capital Territory, hospitals continue to demand police reports before victims are attended to, with an embarrassing report of the death of Ms. Greatness Olorunfemi, a community developer and member of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Network, on account of alleged refusal by Maitama General Hospital Abuja to accept and treat her after being pushed out of a fast-moving vehicle on Tuesday, 26th September 2023 by notorious ‘one-chance’ operators.

“The enactment of the National Health Act, 2014 and particularly the Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshot Act, 2017, victims of gunshots and other emergencies now have the right to treatment, a right which is rooted in section 1.

“As from the commencement of this Act, every hospital in Nigeria whether public or private shall accept or receive for immediate and adequate treatment with or without police clearance any person with a gunshot wound.”

Ekpeyong also referred to Section 3 of the Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshot Act, 2017, which states, “No gunshot victim shall be refused immediate and adequate treatment whether or not an initial monetary deposit has been paid.”

The lawmaker further argued that Section 13 provides that “Any person or authority including any police officer or other security agents or hospital who stands by or omits to do his bit which results in the unnecessary death of any person with bullet wounds commits an offense and shall on conviction be liable to 5 years imprisonment or a fine of N50,000 or both.”

Supporting the motion, Senator Abdul Ahmed Ningi (PDP, Bauchi Central) lamented the incident and also urged that the hospital be charged with manslaughter.

“We must do whatever we can as a Senate to make sure this is addressed, and Maitama General Hospital is charged for manslaughter because the hospital actually killed that girl and not even the armed robbers,” he said.

In adopting the motion, the Senate mandated its Committees of Health, Police, and FCT Affairs to adequately investigate the circumstances that led to the death of Ms. Olorunfemi, and report back in three weeks.

It also urged the Ministry of Health to commence sensitization of hospitals on the need to treat victims with or without police reports.

Meanwhile, Senator Ekpeyong at a briefing with journalists, assured that he will work to ensure that stiffer penalties are replaced with a fine of N50,000 for offenders.

 

 

Sharon Eboesomi

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