Re: Patient's bill of right #PBOR, Nurses Are Not Angels - FELLOW NURSES AFRICA
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August 14, 2018

Re: Patient's bill of right #PBOR, Nurses Are Not Angels

The first few days in August had nurses as one of the trendy tags on social platforms. July 31st, the Vice President, Professor Osibanjo, implemented the patient's right of bill.




The fuse or I rather say, the trend was not all about the new implemented patient's right of bill but about the image of nurses that was portrayed in the characters of the cartoon. 
Nursing is no fun at all, and I have experienced the good sides and the bad sides of nursing. A good nurse is an advocate, shows empathy and is a care giver. I was surprised that the nurses in that video does not look a bit like the definition of a good nurse.


Nurses are not angels, they are human and they have blood running through their veins. A nurse can be angered, provoked, because she/he is human but will never act like a ruthless being.


The patient's bill of right will be efficient and possible if Nigeria has an improved health care service. For the patient's bill of right to be fulfilled, then health care providers must be put in place; not understaffed, not underpaid, not overworked.


Patient's right vary in different countries and in different jurisdictions, often depending upon prevailing cultural and social norms.


According to WHO's report in 2009,

Nigeria's health care system is built on inequity which has contributed to lack of public and private sector.

- Low motivation in work environment
- Not enough staffing


The new implemented patient's bill of right is to ensure optimal consumer satisfaction in the health sector. The new bill guarantees, the fait treatment of patients and every patient can make his own medical decisions. It is to eliminate quacks in the country's healthcare sector as it will serve as a weapon in the hands of patients to demand better health care services.


Here are some of the details in the document


- The document spells out the patient's right to information, urgent medical intervention, secure healthcare environment, to be treated with respect and timely access to medical records which must be treated with confidentiality.

- This Bill guarantees the fair treatment of patients and every patient can make his own medical decisions

- To eliminate quacks in the country's healthcare sector as it will serve as a weapon in the hand of patients to demand better healthcare services.


Here are the 12 rights every patient is entitled to according to the document


1. Right to relevant information,


2. Right to timely access to medical records,


3. Right to transparent billing


4. Right to privacy


5. Right to clean healthcare environment


6. Right to be treated with respect.


7. Right to receive urgent care


8. Right to reasonable visitation


9. Right to decline care


10. Right to decline or accept to participate in medical research


11. Right to quality care


12. Right to complain and express dissatisfaction regarding services received.


I have nothing against the patient's bill of right, perhaps it is not the top priority of the Nigerian health sector.


Let's take a survey on Nigeria's health care system. 

Nigeria's health care system is poorly developed, no adequate and functional surveillance systems are developed. 
The health sector remains weak as evidenced by lack of coordination. Fragmentation of service, death of resources, including drugs supplies, inadequacy and decaying infrastructure, inequity in resources distribution, and access to care and very deplorable quality of care.


Having known the exact description of the Nigeria's health sector, below are the major flaws in Nigeria's health care sector

- Nigeria is a highly populated country with over 180million people, and health care inadequacy can be traced yo over population or under population of a peculiar demographic region.


- About 55% of Nigerians live in rural in areas and only 45% lives in the urban area. Over half of the Nigerians population take drugs dispensed by substandard medium.


In this article I would highlight one of  the right of patients and explain why it may not be possible.


Right to receive urgent care.
Nurses are the caregivers and advocate, most times they are severely assaulted by patient's relative because they want to receive an urgent care. 
Nobody will be put to fault in this article. An average OPD/ emergency sector in a government hospital has less than 5 nurses on duty during the morning shift, less than 3 nurses on night and afternoon shifts. 5 nurses to attend to over 500 patients who want to see a doctor.

For each patient, 3 minutes is spent to take vital signs, TPR, BP. 
That is 180seconds is spent on each patient. 
There is no impartiality in the care a nurse renders, but a nurse can render care according to the severity of the case. 

That is why we have GOPD, general outpatient department, Accident and Emergency, Causality, and several other department to care for patients according to the severity of their case. 
Government should try to replace retired persons into the facilities. Employ more hands.


To have a perfect health sector, not only the health care providers, but patients and nurses must work hand in hand to get a better result. 
Patients must learn to visit the hospital the moment they notice the slightest form of symptom.


Patient must learn to follow basic health rules given by health care provider.
Government must also be ready to improve the facilities and enhance self motivation for health care providers


Just like I mentioned earlier that I am not against the PBOR, I think the Federal government of Nigeria with Federal ministry of health should work on establishing good health care services for the mass.


In what other way do you think the PBOR is a wrong move?


Drop a comment on ways the Nigerian government can improve health care sector.



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