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‘Stop demand for police report before treating accident victims’

By Chuka Odittah, Abuja   |   02 October 2016   |   4:03 am
The scene of an accident

The scene of an accident

The National President of Vehicle Owners Association of Nigeria (VOAN), Odo Vincent Okoko, has expressed concern over rising cases of accident-related deaths in hospitals due to the absence of police reports authorising treatment of the victims.

It will be recalled that the Federal Government early this year directed medical personnel to treat emergencies without police reports. The sad trend has, however, continued.

Briefing reporters in Abuja after an official visit to the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Okoko said there was urgent need for government’s intervention, to prevent needless deaths because medical personnel make obtaining a police extract a condition to administering aid.

He said this was against international best practices and added that the association was currently articulating a bill to be forwarded to the National Assembly.

“The bill will be called ‘Accident Prevention Awareness Campaign: Highway Sanitation and Automobile Safety Bill 2017’. This bill seeks to assist our country meet the target set by the United Nations to reduce current accident rate by 50 per cent in 2020 and beyond, through empowerment of our association to remove scrapped, damaged, burnt but refurbished vehicles and all automobile wastes from Nigerian highways to designated recycling plants.

This is in line with our ‘Change Begins With Me’ mandate, to change the negative orientation and attitudes of some Nigerian medical personnel towards road accident victims,” he said.

Okoko noted that good Samaritans ought not be burdened with presentation of police report for treatment of people they rescued from accident scenes.

He recalled a recent case when six Ekiti State medical officials died from a road crash along Abuja-Kaduna expressway because doctors and nurses denied them early care.

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