In a bid to protect vulnerable Nigerians, Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has launched Nigeria’s first Patients’ Bill of Rights developed by the Consumer Protection Council (CPC).
The Patients’ Bill of Rights is crucial, as it borders on human lives and respect for human dignity.
Speaking at the launch on Tuesday in Abuja, the Vice President emphasized that the government is aware of the acute problem of the Nigerian healthcare challenges and is putting the right policies to address them, Daily Trust reports.
Osinbajo said respect for patients and human lives explain how a country values its citizens, adding that the responsibility is not only for healthcare practitioners but the entire healthcare value chains.
He further said healthcare is not just about government funding and provision of infrastructure but also includes what patients perceive as what they are getting out of it.
On his part, the Director General, CPC, Barr. Babatunde Irukera, said the rights encapsulated in the Bill have always existed in different laws and the CPC simply aggregated the rights for reference purposes.
Irukera said the Bill of Rights would help eliminate quacks in the country’s health care sector as it will serve as a weapon in the hand of patients to demand better healthcare services.
“Protecting rights in the healthcare sector is of particular importance and is a defining feature of how society should, and must operate,” he said.
The CPC boss said the Council took interest in protecting consumers in the health care sector considering that life expectancy depends on the quality of health care delivery in the country.
He said no matter the quality of health care infrastructure, if the right attitude and quality services are absent, quality health care will fail.
“We take a definite step in ensuring people’s rights in the healthcare sector are truly respected and protected in part because no one in our country is insulated or immunised from needing medical services,” he said.
The Bill of Rights outlined 12 rights that patients are entitled to, which are; right to relevant information, right to timely access to medical records, right to transparent billing, right to privacy, right to clean health care environment and right to be treated with respect.
Others are; Right to receive urgent care, right to reasonable visitation, right to decline care, right to decline or accept to participate in medical research, right to quality care and right to complain and express dissatisfaction regarding services received.