The Road Accident Information and Rescue Organisation has called on the federal government to mandate medical doctors in Nigeria to treat and provide medicate care for accident victims in society.
The organisation known as “Rescue Nigeria” stated this in a communiqué released after the National Rescue Submit it organised in Ibadan, Oyo state capital.
The summit, attended by various stakeholders, including top-level regulatory bodies, called on the federal government to mandate medical doctors to treat and provide medicate care for accident victims in the society.
The summit, therefore, called on the government to classify any hospital that refuses treatment to an accident victim or lack of response by any doctor in an emergency situation as a “Professional misconduct” under the Nigeria Medical Association regulations.
In the communiqué read, by Mr. Yinka Agboola, a Patron of the organization and Publisher of Parrot Xtra Magazine, the summit noted many lives have been lost due to lack of prompt attention for accident victims by many Nigerians.
The summit pointed out that failure to assist road accident victims at any emergency hour is “a legal problem rather than a moral issue” saying people refrain from giving assistance to road accident victims in an emergency situation due to lack of “legal protection”.
In his opening address, the National Commander, Bamgboye Okanlawon told the guest that the organisation have always been making a continuous effort to address carnage on our road, environment and serve as an advocacy group to complement the effort of Federal Road Safety Corps and other Emergency service providers in Nigeria.
Okanlawon stated that the summit was organised to engage government’s top-level regulatory bodies and other stakeholders to jointly “find a lasting solution to the problem of abandoning accident victims on our roads by the people around.
According to him, an incident where accident victims are left in their terrible condition by people, without assisting them should be discarded, urging that anyone who assists victims of road accident should be treated courteously by the authority.
“This summit will be sending a strong message to encourage citizens willing to help passionately without any hindrances”.
He added that “88% of the general public refused to render required assistance to accident victims because of the fear of getting involved with authorities. However, over 50% of accident victims could be saved if immediate assistance is given during the golden hour”.
The Commander hinted that the organisation is “working closely with the local communities to provide them with preventive safety programmes for the safety of lives and to empower every individual through safety education and training to make our communities safer, stronger and better prepared to respond to the emergency, and disasters of all kind”.
Okanlawon called on both state and federal governments to establish Accident Trust Funds to finance and provide free medical treatment to accident victims in Nigeria.
This according to him should be in the form of the contributory scheme from heavy truck operators, haulage companies, bottling companies, commercial transporters and other fleet operators, including government support from sales of petrol and diesel.
The summit, also recommended that Nigerians should be encouraged to render immediate assistance to accident victims and take them to a nearby hospital.
It urged the authority to give legal protection to citizens, that are willing to help accident victim at the scene of an accident, adding that those who render such assistance to accident victims should be rewarded by the government, to encourage others.
Papers were presented by various stakeholders, including the Sector Commander for Oyo Federal Roads Safety Corps, Mrs. Uche Winifred Chukwura, Zonal Director, National Emergency Management Agency, Mr Slaku Bijimi and Oyo State Director of National Orientation Agency, Mrs Dolapo Dosunmu.
Others speakers included a representative of Oyo state Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Odude and Founder, Shafaudeen In Islam, Prof. Olagoke Ariyo.