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Hospital staff to wear name tags, as Patient Feedback Platform debuts

By Chinyere Amalu
THE Patient Feedback platform just launched by Federal Government Patient is guaranteed to enable patients pass on complaints about relevant  Federal government owned health institutions and staff in all  health institutions across the country have been directed to carry nametags henceforth.

Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Dimeji Bankole during the  launch tasked GSM service providers on quality of the service for effective patient feedback.

The platform is a partnership between the FG and MTN Global System for Mobile communication (GSM) service provider whereby patients are given the opportunity of relaying complaints through SMS  to the Ministry for necessary action.

The Speaker said: “Laudable as the project is, network failure negates the effect it was meant to generate.” The platform marks another step in the health sector reform targeted at better service delivery.

Speaker House of Representatives Hon. Dimeji Bankole (middle) during the official launch of the Patient Feedback Platform “30500” in Abuja last week. Looking on are Minister of Health Prof. Babatunde Oshotimehin (left); Minister of State for Health Dr. Aliyu Idi Hong (back middle); MTN General Manager, Corporate Services Division, Mrs. Funmi Omogbenigun (2nd right) and Minister of Information and Communications Prof. Dora Akunyili (right). Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan.

“I believe that the platform is good as it provide the means for patients to have their say as well as assist the government because the government must have a means of tracking the budget and what is appropriated for, whether monthly or quarterly.”

He advised Nigerians to be swift and candid in their complaints, urging the service providers not to undermine the project by widening their reach and improving their quality of service

“The Ministry must put in place mechanism that will address challenges arising from diverse complaints from across the country”, he advised.

Minister of Information and Communications, Prof. Dora Akunyili noted that the service has given the masses, especially rural dweller “a voice as the platform would enable them report how they were being treated by health workers to the appropriate authority”.

Minister of Health, Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin  said “Government has realised that health should not be responsibility of the patient alone. As providers, we too have a responsibility. The era whereby health workers think that they are doing patients a favour has gone. This platform is an engagement with the public for better service delivery.

“The public must be made to be aware with the power to air their fears and complaints with the realisation that correction would be made”, he said.

He said 53 Federal government health institutions are linked to the platform. Patients are expected to text  complaints to the number 30500.

“The message would be forwarded to the Ministry from where it will be disaggregated with specific code to the hospital concerned. The hospitals will have access to the complaints with a view of acting to correct the lapses mentioned.

“The new feedback platform will also strengthen health  regulatory bodies like the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and afford them  opportunity of bringing erring members to book”, explained Oshotimehin.

MTN representative, Mrs Omofunmi Omogbemigun, General Manager Corporate Service said her company considered Information and Communications Technology (ICT) a powerful tool for socio-economic development in society and is committed to use it for Nigerians.

“It was in view of this that MTN is partnering with the Ministry to provide this for patients and hospitals for the kind of health care they desire.”


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