By Chioma Obinna
Stakeholders in the health and justice sectors are developing polices that would protect patients and their rights as well as strengthen the health system.
The stakeholders who spoke in Lagos during a Healthcare Management Conference tagged: “ Medicine, Accountability & Law” condenmed the consistent dissolve of the Board of Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, MDCN, by every government in power. In his presentation, “Consumer Protection & Patient Safety Standards”, Prof Shima Gyoh, Former Chairman, MDCAN, who noted that the Council has rough life span, called on Federal Government to reconstitute the board in order to protect the patients.
At the event organised by Beyhealth in partnership with the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, and other key stakeholders in the health sector, the Director General, Beyhealth, Mr. Adetokunbo Shitta-Bey said the essence was to develop policies towards protecting consumers.
Tokunbo noted that the health sector has been faced with a lot of complicated issues of infrastructure, healthcare delivery and lack of education on patient’s rights.
He further stressed that the issues in the health sector does not only bothered on the doctors and nurses, but other stakeholders in the health sectors.
“The problem is a central issue. I don’t know anyone who has not been affected by the problem directly or indirectly and we can’t just look at the practitioners alone but how regulated they are.”
Tokunbo lamented that the menace often times tell back on the patients. “The patients are exposed to a lot of issues which put the question, where do they go? There is a medical tribunal but that will not do because only few cases are prosecuted in the court of law. What we are preaching is that there are a lot to be done from the point of the incidence to the point of the patients getting justice which brings us at the point of regulating the industry.”
He said the aim of the stakeholders meeting was strictly for policy development for proper regulation of the industry.
Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association, Business Law, Barrister Olumide Akpata, stressed the need to involve the lawyers by educating and training them to protect the rights of the patients.
On the rights of the patients, Director General of the Consumer Protection Council, Babtunde Irukere added that it’s not only about educating the patients on their right but also to educate the health providers on patient’s rights.
“The most important thing is that for those people who consume healthcare services to know their rights, demand for them, and insist on their rights and the healthcare providers to also know those rights and rendering them” he said.