Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, says the supremacy of human dignity is the responsibility of everyone, and not only medical personnel in the healthcare value chain.
Osinbajo said this while inaugurating the “Patients’ Bill of Rights’’ at the State House in Abuja on Tuesday.
He expressed optimism that the synergy among stakeholders in the health sector would translate to new quality of standards in the patient experience in the country.
He said: “The Federal Government is aware of the challenges of the country’s healthcare sector which is why it is pursuing the attainment of universal health coverage for all Nigerians.
“With the PBoR, I hope that the increased funding that is coming into the healthcare system in Nigeria translates to direct improvement to the quality of the final output of healthcare delivery.
“I encourage all stakeholders in the healthcare sector to take advantage of the opportunity and ensure improved healthcare in the country.’’
In his remarks, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah, urged stakeholders in the sector to ensure compliance with the bill.
Also speaking, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, commended the efforts of the Consumer Protection Council and pledged to support the actualisation of the bill.
Adewole also reiterated the commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari led-administration to revamp the Nigeria’s health sector.
Babatunde Irukera, Director-General of CPC, said the PBoR would assist healthcare professionals and professional associations identify and eliminate quacks in the sector.
Irukera said that for any meaningful change to occur, patients and their families must become conversant with their rights and responsibilities.
He said health providers must also be familiar with their roles and duties to patients to ensure change in the sector.
He said: “Today, we take a definite step in ensuring that people’s right in the healthcare sector are truly respected and protected as no one is insulated from needing medical services.
“This calls for an opportunity to change the entire landscape, protect consumers, save lives, prevent injury and inculcate fundamental value for people.
“This is the transformation that calls for urgent action, there is an urgency to protect the right and dignity of people on this nation.
“There is an emergent reason to ensure citizens are lifted up from poverty, there is an unequivocal responsibility to humanise all and pay attention to the most vulnerable.
“The PBOR is our boldest step yet in soft infrastructure in healthcare. It is a vital vehicle upon which physical infrastructure must ride to truly deliver services.
“The CPC and collaborators have developed a mechanism that narrows the access and quality gap in complimenting the hard infrastructure and to truly deliver a standard that is consistent with our aspirations.’’
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the bill contains the right to relevant information in a language and manner patients understand and right to timely access detailed and accurate medical records and available services.
It 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, 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 on 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.