October 2, 2023

The Executive Vice Chairman, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), Mr. Babatunde Irukera, says domestication of the Patient Bill of Rights in the nation’s health institutions will ensure better and quality health care delivery.

Irukera said this during a courtesy visit to the Kwara Deputy Governor, Mr. Kayode Alabi, in Ilorin on Monday.

He said that the Patient Bill of Rights was about the aggregation of the rights of patients and medical practitioners, adding that many patients do not know their rights.

While lamenting the exodus of medical professionals in the country, he said that Nigerians might not have rights of control over it, but they have control of their rights as patients.

Irukera said; “Some of the rights include the right to relevant information in a language and manner that the patient understands, including diagnosis, treatment, other procedures, and possible outcomes.

“Right to timely access to detailed and accurate medical records and available services. Right to transparent billing and full disclosure of costs including recommended treatment plans.

“Right to privacy and confidentiality of medical records and conditions. Right to a clean, safe, and secure healthcare environment.

“Right to be treated with respect, regardless of gender race, religion, ethnicity, allegations of crime, disability or economic circumstances, among others.

“Hence the need for consumer education and work with health care institutions to make them sign, domesticate and display the rights”, he said.

In his response, the deputy governor advised the commission to embark on an aggressive campaign on the patient bill of rights for effective implementation.

Alabi tasked the commission with effective monitoring of the implementation while urging the public to work on their mindset and care about their rights as patients.

He said that the state government was ready to partner with the commission, saying that the government placed priority on healthcare and education.

The Chairman, Medical Advisory Council, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Dr. Louis Odegha, who represented the Chief Medical Director of the institution, Prof. Dasilva Yussuf, said that the facility supported the Patient1 Bill of Rights in the SERVICOM.

Odegha said that the staff of the teaching hospital had been trained on the rights of patients, adding that billboards and other media campaign activities had been done to raise awareness.

“It has to be a continuum. I also teach medical students at 400L about the rights and importance of patients’ rights.

“We have domesticated patients’ human rights here. We hold the view that it will go a long way to instil confidence in patients,” he said.

Speaking with newsmen on the sidelines of his visits to public and private health institutions in the state, Irukera said that domestication of patients’ rights in the nation’s health institutions would go a long way to instil confidence in the nation’s healthcare delivery system.

“There are certain standards and expectations from the medical practitioners and obligations of the patients.

“It is no use having structures with medical equipment when patients are not treated with empathy. People want a place where they feel welcomed and cared for rather than where everything is upside down.

“I think patients should be treated in a far superior way than what we do now,” he said.

He said that such complications arising from doctors’ and nurses’ relationship, palpable acrimony among health care personnel, issues on labour, and strikes should not affect the rights of patients.

“It should be about responsibility and not superiority. There should be mutual respect because patients are the victims of the strike actions, usually embarked upon by medical practitioners.

“Thus, patient bill of rights was introduced, patients have fundamental rights to be treated fairly and in dignified manners,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that among the hospitals which have domesticated the patient bill of rights is the LEAH Medical Centre, Ilorin.


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