The Consumer Protection Council has called on health care providers in the country to adopt the Patients’ Bill of Rights in order to effectively address the issue of consumer abuse in the health care sector.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo had in July this year unveiled the bill, which is meant to articulate the rights of patients in the health care sector.
The bill highlights the responsibilities of patients and eliminates prevailing ambiguities regarding the legitimate expectations patients should have when receiving care from providers.
Also, as a standard setting effort, the bill is a transparent benchmark that empowers consumers to recognise, demand and insist that their rights be respected, while guiding providers about the scope and extent of their obligations to patients.
Speaking when he visited two private hospitals in the Federal Capital Territory, the Director General, CPC, Babatunde Irukera, described the bill as a game changer in the efforts of government to ensure value for money for patients.
The hospitals are Wellington Neurosurgery Centre, Maitama, and Alliance Hospital, Area 11, Garki.
Irukera, while commending the two hospitals for domesticating the bill, urged those yet to domesticate it to do so in order to guarantee the safety of 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. It is time to think about it as time is of the essence.
“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 health care delivery 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.”
Irukera noted that the bill had given patients control over the cost of their treatment and ensured that they were treated well during an emergency.
He also said that it provided sufficient information for them to take the right decisions about their health care, among others.
Earlier, the Senior Consultant, Wellington Neurosurgery Centre, Dr Charles Ugwuanyi, pledged the continued support of the centre to the CPC.
He added that the concept of the centre mandated it to put the lives of the patient before medical bill.