By G9ija

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has restated its commitment to protecting patients’ rights in the country.

This, the FCCPC stated exists in instruments such as the nation’s constitution, the Consumer Protection Act, Child’s Rights Act, Freedom of Information Act, National Health Act, the Hippocratic Oath, as well as other professional ethical codes and regulations.

The agency said this yesterday, during a public inquiry in Lagos, regarding a case of an alleged violation of patient’s rights. It disclosed that in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health, it would ensure that the Patients’ Bill of Rights (PBoR) is effectively implemented.

This, they explained would, enable patients have adequate information, quality care, and access to emergency care including other vital health care and the patient’s dignity.

The Chief Executive Officer, FCCPC, Babatunde Irukera, pointed out that patients should be granted and provided with access to clean, safe and secure healthcare environment, as well as access to equitable qualify care and caregivers, irrespective of disability.

Irukera explained that, “According to the Patients’ Bill of Rights, patients are to receive urgent, immediate and sufficient intervention and care in the event of an emergency, prioritising such needed attention over other factors including cost and payment, as well as law enforcement requirements.

“Also, patients have the right to access of relevant information in a language that the patient understands, including complete and accurate information about diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, other procedures and possible outcomes.

“On the part of patients, it is required that they provide adequate explanation and information during treatment when and where necessary without constituting a nuisance or in any way endanger others.”

Also speaking at the public inquiry, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Lagos State, Moyosore Onigbanjo, who was represented by the Solicitor General and Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Titilayo shittabey said, “The right to health is enshrined in the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria as well as in the National Health Act of 2014 and the Patients’ Bill of Rights which was launched in 2018.

“Section 20.1 of the National Health Act 2014 prohibits health care providers, health workers or health establishments from refusing a person medical treatment for any reason. It further prescribes punishments where such provision is violated.

“Similarly, the compulsory treatment and care for victims of gunshots Act 2017provides for compulsory treatment and care of victims of gunshots.

“Also, it is important that stakeholders come together to understand on ground realities, the root causes and reach practical agreement that would truly give access to victims and patients in their moment of dire need.”

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