By Chinyere Amalu
THE Patient Feedback platform just launched by Federal Government Patient is guaranteed to enable patients pass on complaints about relevantÂ Federal government owned health institutions and staff in allÂ health institutions across the country have been directed to carry nametags henceforth.
Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Dimeji Bankole during theÂ 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 SMSÂ to the Ministry for necessary action.
The Speaker said: â€œLaudable as the project is, network failure negates the effect it was meant to generate.â€ The platform marks another step in the health sector reform targeted at better service delivery.
â€œI 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.â€
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
â€œThe Ministry must put in place mechanism that will address challenges arising from diverse complaints from across the countryâ€, he advised.
Minister of Information and Communications, Prof. Dora Akunyili noted that the service has given the masses, especially rural dweller â€œa voice as the platform would enable them report how they were being treated by health workers to the appropriate authorityâ€.
Minister of Health, Prof. Babatunde OsotimehinÂ said â€œGovernment 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.
â€œThe public must be made to be aware with the power to air their fears and complaints with the realisation that correction would be madeâ€, he said.
He said 53 Federal government health institutions are linked to the platform. Patients are expected to textÂ complaints to the number 30500.
â€œThe 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.
â€œThe new feedback platform will also strengthen healthÂ regulatory bodies like the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and afford themÂ opportunity of bringing erring members to bookâ€, 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.
â€œIt 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.â€