By Olasunkanmi Onifade
Dr Biodun Ogungbo, a Neurological Surgeon, Brain and Spine Surgery Consortium (BASS), Abuja, has called for adequate training of health workers on patient’s right.
Ogungbo made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.
“Some hospitals, doctors and nurses refuse to disclose the names of drugs or treatments to their patients for fear the patient will know what they are taking and then go off to buy it from an outside source.
“Some doctors also refuse to disclose details of operations performed, implants used or other critical details for whatever reason, best known to them.
“Patients, relatives, doctors and nurses should join the debate, especially if you are a healthcare practitioner and most especially, if you work in such an environment. You might even be one of the doctors or the owner of such a dreadful hospital,” he said.
Ogungbo said the right of patients are usually infringed more often in public hospitals, saying some will remove urinary catheters, cannulas, bandages on wounds from the patients before tossing them out.
He however said some other hospitals also sometimes physically force patients out of the hospital bed, once discharged and refuse to re-admit the patient.
“A few hospitals have in my experience, refused the use of their ambulances, to convey the patients to the nearest hospital or home, in a childish game of retribution,’’ the expert noted.
He said the most important person and the reason hospitals exist is the patient, saying that the man who ensures the bills are paid including the salaries of healthcare practitioners is the patient.
Ogungbo advised healthcare practitioners to have a change of attitude towards patients, adding that their job is to keep the patients alive and in good health.
“We cannot be nasty to the patients or perform acts that reduce their chances of survival, by not giving them the right information.
“So, if patients don’t come, you are a goner, once you get that, you realise that the attitude and behaviour of the practitioner is to ensure the wellbeing and longevity of the patient, dead patients do not pay the bills,” he said.