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Doctors, nurses warned against negligence

By Chinyere Amalu

ABUJA — Nigerian doctors and nurses have been warned to desist from their bad habit of neglecting patients and be careful while discharging their duties as their actions or inactions might lead to the closure of the hospital.

Former Chief Justice of Supreme Court, Abdullahi Ibrahim (SAN), gave this warning yesterday in Abuja at a three-day national workshop on medico-legal practice in health institutions in Nigeria, by the National Hospital and the Institute of Health Service Administrators of Nigeria (IHSAN).

According to the Senior Advocate, Nigerians are beginning to be aware of doctors and nurses negligence over their parents, adding that their nonchalant attitudes towards their patients have a negative impact on their profession.

In his keynote address, Ibrahim said to control the trend of errors made by doctors, who are unquantifiable, “ethics and statutes have come in to control in the practice of medicine.

“It is not correct for anyone to suggest that medical practitioners or healthcare givers are on their own, they are heavily regulated by the Medical and Dental Practitioners’ Tribunal,” he said.

He, however, noted that hospital should be accountable to any loss recorded as result of negligence of their health practitioners.

“If anything goes wrong as a result of negligence, the hospital, not only the professional will be held responsible but the employer as well.  What the law requires is that they must exercise the average reasonable skill of a person in their profession or calling,” he said.

Chairman, Management Board of the National Hospital, Hamza Sakwa, said medico-legal practice was well known in the developed countries due to the high level of awareness of rights among patients, “but is still not so in a country like Nigeria where the practice is not well established.”

On the objective of the workshop, he said: “The workshop is aimed at sensitising participants on their medico-legal responsibilities to their esteemed patients in healthcare institutions.”


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