Sunday, 3 January 2016

Fresh Legal Troubles Looms For Nigerian Health Workers

There is a looming threat of legal battles for doctors and other medical professionals in Nigeria this year, based on the warnings from several professional councils including the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria and the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria.

Asides the medical councils and patients calling for justice, several governmental agencies have also been calling for the head of erring professionals.

Expectedly, the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC have added their voice to the fight for patients' rights.

This week, at the official launch of a research report  on Human Rights and Maternal Mortality,  the commission, through its executive secretary, Prof Ben Angwe said it would henceforth prosecute hospitals and medical practitioners over any alleged unprofessional conduct.

Prof. Angwe also urged Nigerians to report all cases of maltreatment or negligence by both private and public health care centres in the country to the commission. He gave an example of how some women were evicted from their hospital bed to the corridor, “barely an hour after they gave birth.”

Angwe said: "If a medical practitioner is alleged to have committed an act of negligence, that person must be prosecuted. We need cooperation to bring quack doctors that are busy killing people to justice. Any medical personnel who has been confirmed to have done an act of negligence  will have to pay compensation. If it involves an institution, the institution will make the victim become rich."

He added that, “It is only in Nigeria that a practitioner will be responsible for the death of a person and nothing happens and the personnel will continue his practice without losing his licence.

Among stakeholders at the unveiling of the report were wives of the Chief of Defence Staff,  Mrs.  Omobolanle Olonisakin and the Inspector-General of Police, Mrs. Agharase Arase, who are Presidents of Defence and Police Officers Wives Association, DEPOWA, and Police Officers’ Wives Association, POWA respectively. Both of them bemoaned the plights of pregnant women in the country who are badly treated by health officials in the hospitals.

So clearly, the fight against medical indiscipline is gathering clout  and to be forewarned is to be fore-armed.

A word of advice- if you're a health professional, you need to work hard and WORK SMART, lest you land in BIG trouble!!!!

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