FCCPC domesticates Patients’ Bill of Rights in FMC Abuja

By Ginika Okoye

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), has domesticated the Patients’ Bill of Rights (PBoR) at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Abuja for improved healthcare delivery.

Speaking at the  domestication in Abuja on Wednesday, Mr Babatunde Irukera, the Executive Vice Chairman of FCCPC, said the move would help health professionals meet up with their obligations to patients.

Irukera, however, said  that there were penalties for violating the 12 PBoR.

According to him, one of the things that we encourage institutions that adopt the PBoR to do is to have a stand alone redress mechanism, and a complaint system.

He said that the advocacy for the adoption of the PBoR would be taken to other hospitals in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT)  as well as the states.

”We can focus this on healthcare but it is really a problem across the country.

”We have not priotised consumer feedback.

”Soon, we will write it as a regulation and there will be penalties for organisations that do not have feedback mechanism.

”Internally, this will certainly improve the quality of care, it will speak to all the professionals in the hospital both the nurses that owe this obligation to people.

”Externally, we can take this to other people and tell them that the hospital is exemplary, they should follow the example,” he said.

The executive vice chairman advised the health facility to ensure that feedbacks coming from  patients were addressed.

On obtaining Police report in gunshot or emergency health cases, he said that it was still a problem but the incidences had reduced drastically between 2018 till date.

Irukera said the reduction was due to the commission’s advocacy and accountability system.

”What we ask is that once this happens, keep bringing it to our attention, we can use it to hold people accountable.

”There is no way to perfect the society other than that way,” he said.

Prof. Saad Ahmed, the Medical Director,  FMC, Abuja, said  that the domestication of the PBoR in the hospital would help them to formalise their contract with their patients.

”I believe that the purpose of this organisation is to give services to patients and before now, our visions and missions are centred on clinical excellence and patients’ satisfaction.

”So domesticating this bill of rights is to formalise our service contract with our patients who we serve.

”We will continue to see how we can improve on all the things that we have been doing to support the efforts of the FCCPC to advocate for more and more organisations to key into this good venture,” he said.

Dr Nkechi Mba of the FCCPC, listed some of the PBoR to include right to relevant information in a language and manner the patients understands, including diagnosis.

Others she said are right to timely access to detailed and accurate medical records, right to transparent billing and full disclosure of any cost including recommended treatment plans.

Mba said that the right to be treated with respect regardless of gender, race, religion, ethnicity, allegations of crime, disability or economic circumstances was also included among others.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the PBoR was inaugurated in 2018 by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to tackle healthcare impediments. (NAN)