The Nigerian Youth Parliament has called for increased sensitization of the public by all relevant agencies and stakeholders on doctor-patient relationship.
Chairman committee on Health of the Nigerian Youth Parliament, Hon. Dr. Ashimom Timothy Msughter made the appeal on Thursday January 16, on behalf of the Nigerian Youth Parliament while reacting to the spate of attacks on health workers by patients’ relatives in the country.
He stated that ” within the last 2 months, there are over 6 recorded cases of such attacks across the country, the most recent being the attack on a female doctor in Maitama District Hospital, Abuja by relatives of a woman who is alleged to have died from a chronic illness few days after the female doctor refused to authorise her blood transfusion”.
According to reports from several national dailies, the doctor had explained to the family that the patient had adequate blood volume and transfusing her with more blood would worsen her condition.
Unfortunately the patient died few days later and her relatives descended heavily on the doctor, molesting her and stripping her naked in public.
Hon. Ashimom called for increased sensitization of the public on doctor-patient relationship in order to arrest the ugly trend and avoid future occurrences.
He added ” that health workers are bound by oath to offer only services that are beneficial to the patient and that it is only ignorance that would make relatives of a patient to think otherwise and take laws into their hands”.
He stressed that there are avenues for patients and their relatives to seek explanation from health workers about treatment of patients and when such avenues are not availed to them, there are more civil ways to confront such situations.
Hon. Ashimom further sympathised with health workers most especially those affected by such attacks.
He called on them to see it as part of the hazards of the profession and never to be discouraged in offering their best services to patients, while also appealing to hospital managements to put in place security measures to protect the lives of health workers.
On the other hand, he called on doctors to be prompt and active especially in communication and transmission of information to patients and their relatives as that will clear most doubts of the patients’ relatives in the cases of death.
He further called on the government to increase funding to public health facilities to prevent avoidable hospital mortality and check medical tourism.