By Ogar Monday
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Hon. Jude Ngaji, the member representing Yala/Ogoja Federal Constituency in the Green Chambers have called for legislators and by extension the Government to ensure the need for medical practitioners to be held responsible for their negligence.
Jude in a motion before the House yesterday, 5th April 2022, called for the investigation of medical practitioners who due to negligence maimed and caused harm to a member of the public.
The motion contained in the order paper of the House encouraged people to approach medical regulatory agencies in cases where medical practitioners have erred in the dispensation of their duties.
The former State Security Adviser in Cross River in a motion titled “Need to Investigate the Causes of Deaths and Permanent Disability Resulting from Negligence of Medical Practitioners in Nigeria” insisted that the medical practice in Nigeria needs a shot in the arm and this is one way to do that.
His words, “Despite the increasing number of victims, there has been a low level of formal complaints and lawsuits for compensation due to ignorance, poverty, and in some cases, reluctance to seek redress against the offending medical practitioner.
“Other countries where quality medical practice and care for patients is higher there is a sense of accountability required from medical practitioners, as such, it will be useful to consider the legal position in Nigeria concerning actions for negligence against medical practitioners in the discharge of their duties.”
Negligence by a medical professional, the motion states includes, failure to attend promptly to a patient requiring urgent attention when the practitioner was in a position to do so, a manifestation of incompetence in the assessment of a patient, making an incorrect diagnosis particularly when the clinical features were so glaring that no reasonable skillful practitioners could have failed to notice them, among others.
According to Bisola Ogundare in a paper, she wrote on medical negligence in Nigeria, “empirical work by a researcher shows that 61.69 percent of Nigerian patients feel that medical practitioners in Nigeria are arrogant and careless about their conditions and plights. Also, 33.3 percent of Nigerian patients indicated that their doctor’s treatment had caused them extra injury beyond the ones, which took them to the hospital. In spite of this large number of victims, the number of cases recorded or filed, as lawsuits are low.”
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