Reps order probe of alleged refusal to treat lady stabbed by robbers

The House of Representatives has begun a probe into the death of 28-year-old Moradeun Balogun, who was stabbed by armed robbers and allegedly denied treatment by a Lagos hospital.

At a plenary on Tuesday, the lawmaker representing Epe Federal Constituency, Hon. Olawale Raji moved a motion for an investigation into the alleged claim that R-Jolad Hospital, Gbagada, failed to treat an armed robbery victim, late Moradeun Balogun, resulting in her death.

The motion titled ‘Urgent Need to Investigate the Alleged Refusal by the Management of R-Jolad Hospital Gbagada Lagos to Treat a Victim of Armed Robbery Attack, Miss Moradeun Balogun, Resulting in Her Death.’

Recall that in an earlier publication by Tribune Online, Moradeun Balogun was reported dead following an alleged refusal by a Lagos hospital to offer medical treatment except a police report was produced after she was stabbed during a robbery incident while returning from work. Moradeun was said to have been stabbed in the neck by her attackers and taken to R. Jolad Hospital, Gbagada, where she gave up the ghost.

According to section 20 of the National Health Act, 2014, “Healthcare providers, health workers or establishments shall not refuse a person on emergency treatment for any reason. Violation of the law attracts a fine of N100, 000 or a jail term of six months or both.”

In 2017, the Federal Government enacted the Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshot Act which provides for the compulsory treatment and care for victims of gunshots by hospitals in Nigeria and goes further to impose sanction on erring hospital. In Section 11, a five-year jail term or N500, 000 fine or both for any authority or person whose omission results in the unnecessary death of a gunshot victim.

Section one of the same law mandates hospitals to receive and treat victims of gunshot wounds with or without police clearance and with or without initial deposit but are duty-bound to report to the nearest police station within two hours of commencement of treatment.

The alleged refusal of the Hospital to grant her treatment contravenes the above legal provision.

The hospital, however, refuted the allegation, noting that it is committed to saving lives and insisted that the hospital would not engage in acts that will jeopardize the core values placed on premium care and value of human lives – the hospital explained that the woman was assessed and immediately referred to General Hospital Gbagada for vascular surgery

On Sunday, Hon Raji paid a condolence visit to the family of the deceased at their Ojodu Berger residence where he assured the family that he would channel the matter during Reps sitting on Tuesday.

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while moving the motion, Hon Raji decried that no arrest has been carried out days after the incident while reminding the house that the alleged refusal of medical attention to the victim is a violation of the Compulsory Treatment and Care of Victims of Gunshot Act, 2017.

“The House is saddened that seven days after the incident, no arrest has been made by the Nigerian Police. The House is concerned that the conduct of doctors/hospitals in refusing medical attention to victims of gunshots and fatal attacks is a breach of the Hippocratic Oath sworn to by medical practitioners on induction. The House is convinced that if the provisions of the relevant laws are enforced and punitive actions were taken against erring doctors and hospitals by the police and medical/professional bodies, respectively, this rising tide will long be abated.”

He also called on the House Committee on Healthcare Services to investigate the alleged refusal of the Management of R-Jolad hospital to provide immediate medical attention to the deceased – Miss Moradeun – on arrival to the hospital which eventually led to her untimely death and report back to the House as soon as possible while the lawmakers observed a one-minute silence in honour of Miss Balogun.

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