Patients’ Bill of Rights to uncover mystery behind  Olorunfemi’s death in Abuja hospital — FCCPC boss

The Health Services & Environment Secretariat of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has inaugurated a nine-man investigative panel to ascertain the cause of death of ‘one-chance’ robbery victim, Greatness Olorunfemi, in Maitama District Hospital, Abuja.

Speaking at the event, the Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, (FCCPC), Babatunde Irukera, who is also a member of the panel said the Patients’ Bill of Rights would be one of the major considerations that the panel will look at to determine if anything went wrong as well as strengthening the value chain to prevent avoidable fatality.

In 2013, the former Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo launched the bill, which is meant to articulate the rights of patients in the health care sector.

The bill was aimed at effectively addressing the issue of consumer abuse in the health care sector.

It highlights the responsibilities of patients and eliminates prevailing ambiguities regarding the legitimate expectations patients should have when receiving care from providers.

Also, as a standard setting effort, the bill is a transparent benchmark that empowers consumers to recognize, demand and insist that their rights be respected, while guiding providers about the scope and extent of their obligations to patients.

Under the bill, patients can demand rights to relevant information in a language and manner they understand, right to timely access to detailed and accurate medical records and available services, right to transparent billing and full disclosure of any cost and right to privacy and confidentiality of medical records.

Others are right to clean, safe and secure healthcare environment; right to be treated with respect, regardless of gender, race, religion; right to receive urgent, immediate and sufficient intervention and care in the event of an emergency and right to decline care subject to prevailing laws upon full disclosure of the consequence of such a decision.

“The Patients’ Bill of Rights is really just an aggregation of rights that patients have. Different instruments whether ethical codes, legislation, global practices and responsibilities by law. So, it will certainly be one of the considerations that I expect the panel would look at in determining what went wrong if anything went wrong.

“Beyond looking at what went wrong, more importantly, how to strengthen the value chain so that where preventable, we will not experience avoidable fatalities and even when fatality is not preventable, if there is anything that can strengthen the process to dignify people I am sure those will be the considerations,” he said.

While inaugurating the Panel, the Mandate Secretary, Health Services & Environment, Dr. Adedolapo Fasawe, charges them to submit their report within seven-days with recommendations to ascertain the clinical status at the time of arrival of the patient, Ms. Olorunfemi, at the Maitama Districts Hospital and any progression to and until her death.

She said the panel will determine the role of parties in the matter and her unfortunate death in order to make recommendations for similar situations like this case.

The FCT Mandate Secretary, Health Services & Environment noted that the role and responsibilities of the panel in investigating the alleged death and ensuring accountability are crucial in upholding justice and maintaining public trust. 

“In cases of alleged deaths, an impartial and independent panel is often established to thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident and determine the individuals or entities responsible for the death.

“This panel is responsible for conducting a comprehensive inquiry, collecting and analyzing evidence, interviewing witnesses, and examining relevant documents and records.

“The findings of the investigation are expected to be transparent and unbiased, providing clarity and closure to the deceased’s family and the public. Furthermore, the panel plays a vital role in ensuring accountability by holding individuals or institutions accountable for any wrongdoing or negligence that contributed to the death.

“This accountability may involve recommending legal actions, disciplinary measures, or policy changes to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future,” she said.


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