By Joseph Erunke, ABUJA
The Federal Medical Centre, Jabi, Abuja, has formally domesticated the Patients’ Bill of Rights, PBoR, with a view to entrenching clinical excellence and patients’ satisfaction.
As known, 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.
In Nigeria, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo inaugurated the programme in 2018 with a view to addressing the nation’s healthcare problems.
In addition, the federal government’s policy was launched to protect the right of healthcare consumers, improve the quality of healthcare service delivery as well as create patient-centred care.
Speaking at the unveiling and domestication of the project, the Chief Medical Director of FMC,Abuja,Prof. Saad Ahmed, said the domestication of the PBoR in the hospital would help them to formalise their contract with their patients.
He said:”I believe that the purpose of this organisation is to give services to patients and before now, our visions and missions are centred on clinical excellence and patients’ satisfaction.
”So domesticating this bill of rights is to formalise our service contract with our patients who we serve.
”We will continue to see how we can improve on all the things that we have been doing to support the efforts of the FCCPC to advocate for more and more organisations to key into this good venture.”
On his part, the Executive Vice Chairman of, Federal Competition & Consumer Protection Commission,FCCPC, Babatunde Irukera, while decrying the insistence of some hospitals on police reports before giving attention to some patients, especially gunshot patients, assured that his agency would henceforth clampdown on hospitals still engaging in such practice.
This was as he said the practice had reduced since 2018 due to the government’s advocacy and accountability system.
Noting that there was no other way to perfect society other than accountability, consequences and advocacy,he said: “In respect to the as of police report before victims can be treated at the hospitals, I can say that between 2018 and now, incidents of that has gone down dramatically because of the advocacy and accountability system.
“Our first public investigation was that of a girl who was stabbed in the neck and taken to a hospital where the question of police report since she was a victim of a crime arose and became that investigation, many don’t want it to happen again because of the publicity that was associated with it. What we ask is that each time it happens, we are notified and we would continue to do our advocate and hold everyone accountable.
“There are mechanisms to mitigate issues or challenges that could escalate very quickly and so we are holding people accountable. There’s no other way to perfect society other than these three things; accountability, consequences and advocacy. When somebody pays consequence for doing wrong, others wouldn’t want to get into that situation.”
Also speaking at the event, the Consultant,
National Programme of Action for Strenthening of PBoR,Omoluabi Folami Onirinwa,who is also the Lead Consultant of Ace Associates,, explained that PBoR is “an extremely important bill that talks about the patient centered care.”
“Strengthening of the Patient’s Bill of Rights across the country leads to talks about the patient-centred care because the importance of healthcare is the satisfaction that patients derive from whatever care they are given,” he said.
He spoke further:”We are the ones doing the national action for the domestication or the strengthening of PBoR across the country.
“The importance of the PBoR cannot be overemphasized. It’s an extremely important bill that talks about the patient centred care because the important thing about healthcare is the satisfaction that the patients derive from whatever care that they have been given and so, ultimately,this bill helps to focus on the patients as the centre of the care. And it’s a great thing today that we have the Federal Medical Centre, Abuja, domesticating and giving the kind of support expected of them to this bill.
“Before now,the domestication has been considerably low and that is why the FCCPC is very desirous to ensure that this bill or this right is in every nook and cranny of the country.
“It’s not focused around the city centre or anything like that. We have hospitals in different places across the country as far as Sokoto, as far as Kwara State, and communities across the country domesticating the rights.
“The media is a very strategic partner in ensuring that this information disseminates as much as possible and for healthcare consumers to be aware of their rights and continue to do everything to ensure that right is protected.”
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