Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has launched Nigeria’s first Patients’ Bill of Rights developed by the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) to protect vulnerable Nigerians.
Speaking at the launch on Tuesday in Abuja, the Vice President said Patients’ Bill of Rights is crucial as it borders on human lives and respect for human dignity.
Osinbajo said respect for patients and human lives explain how a country values its citizens and this is the responsibility of not only healthcare practitioners but includes the entire healthcare value chains.
The Vice President added that government is aware of the acute problem of the Nigerian healthcare challenges and government is putting the right policies to address them.
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.
The Director General of the CPC, Barrister 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 seen by Daily Trust outlined 12 rights that patients are entitled to, including 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.
Other rights include 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.