A non-governmental organization, Advocacy for the Rights of the Patients and the Aged Persons in Nigeria Initiative (ARPAPNI), has strongly condemned the alarming trend of hospitals turning away emergency patients seeking care.
In a press release, the group, based in Abuja, characterized the practice as a blatant violation of fundamental human rights, particularly when patients in critical conditions are denied immediate attention.
Chairman of ARPAPNI’s Board of Trustees, Noah Ataboh, noted that every individual, regardless of their financial status or police record, has the inherent right to receive medical care, especially in emergency situations.
Ataboh asserted that the rights extend to cases involving unconscious patients, accidents, and various critical scenarios.
ARPAPNI is urging authorities to address and rectify this issue promptly, ensuring that healthcare facilities prioritize the immediate treatment of all individuals in need without discrimination.
“We are here to sensitize the public towards the rights of a patient in the hospital.
“Patients have the fundamental right to be attended to during emergencies because it is part of their fundamental human right to life. This right can die if not properly used.
“This right is being abused at hospitals by stakeholders and hospital workers.
“We have noted that some of the causes of this situation are when the government is not providing enough equipment and remuneration as it ought to be.
“But most importantly, workers in the hospital need to know that patients have the right to be attended to promptly in times of emergency, even without money,” he stressed.
He expressed the belief that individuals wouldn’t experience hardship in hospitals if those working in the healthcare sector fulfilled their responsibilities.
He stated that the non-governmental organization aims to champion the cause of securing ample funding for the health sector.