It’s a wake-up call for health sector – Health Minister
Bill, watershed in Nigeria’s history – CPC DG
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the introduction of the Patients’ Bill of Rights (PBoR) will restore dignity in healthcare practice in Nigeria, saying that the action is timely complement to health policy and funding interventions.
According to the Vice President, the bill will ensure that the increasing funding coming into healthcare in Nigeria translates into a direct improvement in the quality of the final output at what he called ‘last mile’ phase of healthcare delivery.
Osinbajo stated this on Tuesday during the launch of the PBoR at the Banquet Hall, State House, Abuja.
He added that the development is the very personal arena of interaction between health personnel and the beneficiaries of the healthcare.
Osinbajo also stared that the bill is a significant contribution in establishing one of the most important rights of all humanity: the right to life in which inheres the right to adequate healthcare.
He said, “Today, we are setting, and committing to, a new standard that both acknowledges, and commits to uphold some of the most fundamental principles of our common humanity.
“Respect for human dignity is a universal principle. People never forget how they are treated, especially when they are at their most vulnerable – and there are not many scenarios of vulnerability that are as compelling as the ones that put a person in search of healing.
“It is fair to say that one can tell a great deal about how a country values its citizens from the attitudes prevalent in its healthcare systems and institutions.
“In terms of policy and funding, we, as a government, are acutely aware of the challenges of Nigeria’s health sector. And that is why we are single-mindedly pursuing the attainment of Universal Health Coverage for all Nigerians.
For the first time ever, our 2018 budget allocates 1% of the Consolidated Revenue Fund towards the funding of key health initiatives, in compliance with the National Health Act.
“Our aim must be to develop a standard worthy of emulation, by ensuring strict compliance with and the enforcement of the Patient’s Bill of Rights.
We must hold ourselves – professionals and patients – accountable to the rights that this document enunciates, and when we see others who should, but do not, we must insist that they do.”
Osinbajo further described the PBoR as a remarkable effort at consensus and common purpose, in the face of the many challenges of our healthcare system in Nigeria.
He pointed out that the bill serves as a code of accountability, constantly reminding us of the primary purpose of the healthcare system, and of the obligations of every player and stakeholder in that system.
“It helps clarify consumers’ expectations of providers and the providers’ responsibilities to consumers.
In terms of policy and funding, we, as a government, are acutely aware of the challenges of Nigeria’s health sector.
And that is why we are single-mindedly pursuing the attainment of Universal Health Coverage for all Nigerians. For the first time ever, our 2018 budget allocates 1% of the Consolidated Revenue Fund towards the funding of key health initiatives, in compliance with the National Health Act,”.
Osinbajo also commended the Director General. Consumer Protection Council (CPC), Mr. Babatunde Irukera, for initiating and leading the effort; “and the Ministry of Health, led by the indefatigable Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, who has promoted so many health initiatives, and has troubled me very much.”
Earlier in his address, Adewole said that medical doctors and healthcare service providers have to work together to achieve the objective of the PBoR, adding that the bill is meant to regulate the rights and privileges of patients and service providers.
In his welcome address, the Director General of CPC, Mr. Babatunde Irukera said that the launch of the PBOR is a watershed in Nigeria’s history and in her journey to being the best society “we can be.” Irukera noted that the bill represents “our collective commitment to improving care.”
He then said, ” This turning point in our development as a nation has been a long time coming, and I am glad that it is finally here.
It represents a point where we set a new culture for ourselves. It is now up to us to ensure the culture survives. We must preach, practice and defend it, only then will it perpetrate and perpetuate.”
“It is what counts most, it is the work of a lifetime, and succeeding is a lifetime achievement, and this is what this administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is about, it is what it campaigned on, it is its most important objective, and the most important legacy it intends to be remembered for.
“Defining, promoting and protecting the rights of consumers is not only for the benefit of consumers, the concept of rights derives from the need to address and enshrine the values of our shared humanity.
The basic tenets of consumer rights include value for money, dignity and honesty. As such, we are all consumers one way or the other,” the CPC