Director-General, Consumer Protection Council (CPC), Babatunde Irukera
By Lucy Nwachukwu
The Director-General, Consumer Protection Council (CPC), Babatunde Irukera, has urged healthcare providers in the country to domesticate the Patients’ Bill of Right (PBoR) in their various facilities.
Irukera gave the advice when he visited two private hospitals in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Monday in Abuja.
The hospitals are: Wellington Neurosurgery Centre, Maitama and Alliance Hospital, Area 11, Garki.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the PBoR was inaugurated by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on July 31, in Abuja.
While inaugurating the bill, Osinbajo expressed optimism that the synergy among stakeholders in the health sector would translate to new quality of standards in the experience of patients in the country.
He also expressed hope that with the PBoR, increased funding in the healthcare system would ensure improvement in the quality of the final output of healthcare delivery in the country.
Irukera, while commending the two hospitals that had domesticated the bill, urged those yet to domesticate it to do so as it was a matter of saving lives.
He said: “some people have taken the exemplary step of setting the standard; you have to step up to the standard for those yet to domesticate. It is time to think about it as time is of the essence.“
According to Irukera, the bill is a self executing initiative, saying that CPC has conceptualised it to make it a game changer in the country’s health industry.
“What you are seeing now are hospitals that have invited the CPC to domesticate the PBoR.
“Beyond the campaign, what they are doing is that they are taking this document and saying that this is becoming our own code, this is becoming our own internal standard of operation.
“They are holding themselves accountable; they are saying to their employees, you have the responsibility to respect these rights.
“They are saying to the patients also, look at your rights and hold us accountable to them.
“That will help save lives and it will certainly improve our healthcare in the country.
“This is the second we are doing, we know that public institutions are also coming up with a plan and this will go across the whole nation.
According to Irukera, some healthcare providers are ignorant of the rights of patients and the PBoR will help train both the patients and healthcare providers.
He said the bill gave patients control over the cost of their treatment and ensured they were treated well during an emergency.
He also said that it provided sufficient information for them to take the right decisions about their healthcare among others.
Earlier, Dr Charles Ugwuanyi, Senior Consultant, Wellington Neurosurgery Centre said it was a privilege for the centre to provide special services to patients in the country.
He pledged the continued support of the centre to CPC, adding that the concept of the centre mandated it to put the live of the patient before the medical bill.
Also, Ms Marvel Ochoga, General Manager of the centre said the centre understood what the PBoR entailed and would work with the Federal Government to provide quality healthcare to Nigerians.
Dr Rebecca Adeyemi, a Consultant at Alliance Hospital said: “we announce our support for and throw our weight behind this piece of document which every hospital should be very mindful of.
“The patient is in the centre of the medical world and the interest and well being of the patient must take top priority above every other consideration.
“We are already observing the bill as it is in line with our core value system and I encourage other hospitals, whether private or government, to comply with the provisions.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the bill contains the right to relevant information in a language and manner patients understand, the right to timely access to detail and accurate medical records and available services.
It also contains right to transparent billing and full disclosure of any cost, right to privacy and confidentiality of medical records and right to clean, safe and secure healthcare environment.
Others are right to be treated with respect, regardless of gender, race, religion, and ethnicity, allegations of crime, disability or economic circumstances.
It includes right to receive urgent and sufficient intervention and care in the event of an emergency and right to reasonable visitation in accordance with prevailing rules and regulations.
The rights to decline care, consent to participation in medical research, right to quality care in accordance to prevailing standards and rights to express dissatisfaction regarding services received is also included in the bill.