The Federal Government has launched “Patients’ Bill of Rights” document that identifies rights, responsibilities and privilege of patients in relation to health care givers in Nigeria.
The Bill of Rights has twelve rights that patients are entitled to, this include: Right to Privacy, Right to Decline Medical Care, Right to Quality Care ,Right to Access Information, Right to Timely Access to Medical Records, Right to Transparent Billing, Right to Privacy, Right to Receive Urgent Care, Right to Reasonable Visitation, and Right to Complain and Express Dissatisfaction Regarding Services Received.
While launching the document, Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday in Abuja said that the Patients’ Bill of Rights was a significant component of right to life. the right to have adequate health care, access to clean, safe and secure healthcare environment as well as to access equitable quality care
and caregivers irrespective of the patient’s status.
Prof. Osinbajo said it is the right of a patients to fully participate in the implementation of the treatment plan and decision making. He said interaction between patients and healthcare givers give confidence to the patients and their families.
“We must ensure strict compliance and enforcement of the PBoR. It is by enforcement and sanctions against defaulters that we can be sure that the rights will make meaningful impact. If not it will become another mere words on paper,” he said.
Speaking on health financing, the Vice President said that the present government has allocated one percent consolidate revenue of the 2018 budget to the health sector with a view of improving the healthcare system and achieving Universal Health Coverage.
In a remark, the Minister of Health Prof. Isaac Adewole, said that the overall objective of the Patients’ Bill of Rights is to regulate interactions between patients and health workers in the country.
He said that idea was conceived by the Federal Ministry of Health in partnership with Consumer Protection Council (CPC), the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), and other stakeholders.
Adewole said “Patients’ Bill of Rights’ identifies rights and privileges in a Patient-Care Giver relationship for the protection of consumers and providers as well as promote higher and safer healthcare standards in our Hospitals”.
Also in a goodwill message, the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire described the Patients’ Bill of Rights as document that would provide complimentary interaction between patients and healthcare provider.
The WHO Country, Representative Dr. Wondi Alemu Represented by Dr, Rex Mpazanje said that WHO was fully in support of protection of right of the patients and the healthcare givers.
He said WHO would also provide support in the implementation of the programme.
In a welcome address, the Director General, Consumer Protection Council Babatunde Irukere said that Patients’ Bill of Right would help in eliminating quarks in the health sector.
“There are many, who unqualified, pass themselves off as professionals, and others, who though qualified do not know, nor live up to applicable standards.
“This PBoR will assist healthcare professionals and professional associations to identify and eliminate these quacks, and educate those who are qualified, but unaware of their obligations and the rights of their patients.
“The importance of protecting rights in the healthcare sector is a defining feature of how a society should, and must operate. The reason is not farfetched. Needing medical attention is many times the most vulnerable or weakest point for both patient, and many times family, exposing them to abuse and exploitation.”
He said that it is part of the Consumer Protection Council’s mandate to ensure that patients received adequate and quality treatment in the hospitals. He said the Patients’ Bill of Right contained information on the right and responsibilities of patients and the health care providers.