The Patients’ Bill of Rights is a list of rights and responsibilities that guarantees adequate information to patients, fair treatment and autonomy.
It was launched in August 2018 by the Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
Prof Osinbajo described the Patients’ Bill of Rights as “a policy that cuts out the noise and distractions and focuses on what is truly important; putting people first in health care delivery”.
It is a bill that is still being delibrated on by the National Assemby. If passed into law, it becomes an act.
It is an offshot of the National Health Bill.
The policy aims to protects and preserve patients’ self worth and dignity even in their vulnerable state.
The Patients’ Bill of Rights if fully complied to, will translate to new standards of quality, equity and dignity in patients’ health care experience.
The bill defines patient’s rights, responsibilities as well as the health care providers obligations.
It gives the patient right to know the qualifications of the health care provider attending to her/him.
The Patients’ Bill of Rights aims to achieve the Universal Health Coverage.
The bill was extracted from the Consumer Protection Act, Child Rights Act, Freedom of Information, and Hippocratic Oath acts.
It encourages patient take an active in making decisions about treatment and care.
In summary, the bill clearly spells out the rights a patient is entitled to. They are:
1. Right to relevant information.
2. Right to privacy or confidentiality.
3. Right to fair and transparent billing.
4. Right to decline care or request for discharge depending on the age and mental state.
5. Right to decline or participate in medical research.
6. Right to complain and express dissaffection regarding services received.
7. Right to seek legal redress when not satisfied with services rendered.
8. Right to clean healthcare environment.
9. Right to know the attending doctor, nurse or pharmarcist medical qualifications.
10. Right to timely access to medical records ot reports.
11. Right to be treated with respect regardless of age, gender, race, religion, ethnicity, allegations of crime, disability or economic circumstances. Right of non-discrimination
12. The Patients’ Bill of Rights guarantees the patient the right to know her/his diagnosis and the line of treatment.
13. RIGHT to emergency care
14. Right to proper referral and transfer devoid of commercial undertones
15. Right to second opinion and request for expert care
16. Right to timely visitation by friends and families depending on the hospital policy.
17. Right to be heard or seek redressal
18. Right to take body of deceased for interment
19. Right to informed consent in cases of medical procedure or surgery
You can read more on Patients’ Bill of Rights from WHO
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