Nigerian Patient’s Bill of Rights: 5 Things to Note

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Monday, August 06, 2018 3.40PM / Proshare WebTV 

On July 31, 2018 Vice-President Prof Yemi Osinbajo in Abuja launched Nigeria’s first Patients’ Bill of Rights (PBoR) developed by the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health. 

The PBOR is an aggregation of Patients’ Rights by the CPC that are enshrined in the constitution, and covered by the Consumer Protection Council Act, Freedom of Information Act, National Health Act, the Hippocratic Oath amongst others.
 

What is a Patient’s Bill of Right? 

According to Wikipedia A patient’s bill of rights is a list of guarantees for those receiving medical care. It may take the form of a law or a non-binding declaration. Typically a patient’s bill of rights guarantees patients information, fair treatment, and autonomy over medical decisions, among other rights. 

For the Vice President, the Nigerian Patient Bill of Rights Is a very timely complement to these policy and funding interventions. It will ensure that the increasing funding that is coming into healthcare in Nigeria translates into a direct improvement in the quality of the final output at what one might call the ‘last mile’ phase of healthcare delivery, the very personal arena of interaction between health personnel and the beneficiaries of the healthcare”. 

“Our aim must be to develop a standard worthy of emulation, by ensuring strict compliance with and the enforcement of the Patient’s Bill of Rights. We must hold ourselves - professionals and patients - accountable to the rights that this document enunciates, and when we see others who should, but do not, we must insist that they do.” – Vice President Osinbajo said
 

FG Perspective on Healthcare
The Vice President speaking on behalf of the Federal Government at the launch of the PBOR, shared that the service is designed to provide all patients with high quality health care in a manner that clearly recognizes individual needs and rights.

The VP noted that in order to effectively accomplish this goal, the patient and the health care provider must work together to develop and maintain optimum health.

Patient’s Bill Of Rights: 5 Things to Note 

Clearly Spells out Patient’s Rights

The document spells out the patient's right to information, urgent medical intervention, secure healthcare environment, to be treated with respect and timely access to medical records which must be treated with confidentiality.
 

Guarantees Fair Treatment of a Nigerian Patient

Irrespective of background, religion or tribe the PBOR guarantees the fair treatment of patients and every patient can make his own medical decisions.
 

Drives Quality Service

The Patient’s Bill of Rights will eliminate quacks in the country's healthcare sector, as it will serve as a weapon in the hand of the patients to demand quality healthcare service from the providers and medical practitioners.
 

Consumer Awareness

The bill brings a lot of awareness on patient rights, provides guidelines that can assist patients in making decisions regarding healthcare, and to support active participation in healthcare planning.
 

Aggregation of all the Rights for Consumers

The CPC Nigeria through the PBOR aggregated all the patient rights in a concise manner,  that gives them a clearer understanding and will be available to organization personnel, the patient, and his or her representatives as well as other organizations and the interested public. 

This is also for reference purposes and the CPC Nigeria gave this top priority because life expectancy, depends on the quality of healthcare delivery in the country.
 

Here are the 12 rights every patient is entitled to according to the document

1.  Right to relevant information,

2.  Right to timely access to medical records,

3.  Right to transparent billing

4.  Right to privacy

5.  Right to clean healthcare environment

6.  Right to be treated with respect.

7.  Right to receive urgent care

8.  Right to reasonable visitation

9.  Right to decline care

10. Right to decline or accept to participate in medical research

11. Right to quality care

12. Right to complain and express dissatisfaction regarding services received.
 

The Consumer Protection Council has Barrister Emeka Nwankpa as Chairman and Barrister. Babatunde Irukera as Director-General.

 
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