#Legal Sense

Rights of healthcare personnel

By Funmilayo Olagunju

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The Law gives adequate protection to both patients and healthcare personnel. Oftentimes, emphasis is placed on the rights of patient while the rights of healthcare personnel are rarely discussed. Healthcare personnel are equally human being with constitutional rights and legal protection.

Section 22 of the National Health Act 2014 provides for the rights of healthcare personnel.

The appropriate authority may impose conditions on the service that may be rendered by a health care provider or health worker on the basis of health status.

Every health establishment shall implement measures to minimize injury to the person and property of healthcare personnel working in the establishment. Protective measures shall also be put in place to prevent disease transmission to healthcare personnel.

A healthcare personnel may refuse to treat any user who is physically, verbally or sexually abusive to him or her. Beyond the refusal to treat such fellow, the healthcare personnel is entitled to make further report to appropriate authority. By implicatation, charges may be pressed against a patient for an unwholesome conduct or an attempt of it against a healthcare personnel. By a way of exemption, the rule is not applicable to a psychiatric patients.

Patients should remain cautious and civil in relating with healthcare personnel to avoid unpleasant consequences. Verbal or any form of abuse directed towards a healthcare personnel by a patient may disqualify the patient from treatment. The healthcare personnel may also make report to appropriate law enforcement agencies.

“Your own soul is nourished when you are kind; it is destroyed when you are cruel.”

Proverbs 11:17 (TLB)

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