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Expert urges doctors to guard against negligence, improper record-keeping

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An International Medical Law expert, Mr Laolu Osanyin, says Nigerian doctors are the easiest to be sued owing to their negligence and improper record-keeping.

Osanyin made the remark while presenting a paper titled: “Medicine, Malpractice and Misapprehension Conundrum: The Need to Protect the Doctors from Litigation” at the 2018 Scientific Conference on Thursday in Ilorin.

The conference was organised by the Association of Resident Doctors (ARDs), University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) Chapter.

According to him, Nigerian Doctors are the worst record keepers and that in medical law, if it is not written, it did not happen.

The expert pointed out that some Nigerian doctors were “guilty” of malpractices without even knowing it, stressing that a Consultant Supervisor would be responsible for the mistakes of his subordinate.

“You don’t have to see a patient to be responsible for him or her; medical negligence is the omission to do what a responsible medical practitioner would do or doing what a reasonable medical practitioner would refrain from doing,” said Laolu.

According to him, the failure to exercise that care which the circumstances demand is tantamount to negligence on the part of doctors.

He also described doctors who evade the Annual Practising Licence, as “engaging in negligence that can be used against them in the court of law during litigation.”

The expert emphasised that doctors could avert litigation by ensuring good record keeping and adequately informing patients of the risks inherent in treatment.

He said doctors should also speak to the patients in the language they understand and write legibly for easy understanding, among others.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Osanyin is the first African on the Board of Governors of the World Association of Medical Law till date.

In his remarks, the Chief Medical Director, (CMD) of UITH, Prof. Dasilva Yusuf, said health care providers had become an endangered species and the earlier they realised that the better for the profession.

Represented by Dr Abiodun Adeniran of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Yusuf observed that most of the issues that caused disagreement between patients and health care providers were preventable.

He added that one of the aspects to prevent litigation was proper documentation which he said was fundamental in the medical profession

The CMD counselled that when patients have a serious condition, doctors should take time to explain to them in clear terms.

He advised them to know when to call for help most, particularly when they know they cannot perform maximally.

Earlier, the ARD president, UITH Chapter, Dr Owolabi Sunday, observed that there was a rise in litigation against doctors in recent times.

He, therefore, stressed the need for enhanced training and provision of adequate medical equipment in addition to conducive work environment for medical practitioners in Nigeria.

Dr Sunday lauded the current CMD for his commitment to the welfare of medical doctors and expressed delight at the harmonious relation between the association and the UITH management.

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13 Comments Nigeria News
Kolatunmy• 11 months ago
iammicharles• 11 months ago
When even Nigeria don't have a database
Olite1996• 11 months ago
reduction in salary or what
Racheal• 11 months ago
Iyamahsolomon• 11 months ago
ANOINTING• 11 months ago
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Abiodun• 11 months ago

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