Home VOL. 7 (2021) Advancing the Rights of Patients in Nigeria: Analyzing the Patients Bill of...

Advancing the Rights of Patients in Nigeria: Analyzing the Patients Bill of Rights



Persons who seek medical attention have rights which must be respected, notwithstanding their health status. The 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the National Health Act 2014 and the Code of Medical Ethics 2004, contain some of these rights. The PBoR was launched in 2018 to collate the rights in these existing laws for easier reference and to promote its implementation. These rights are however not fully secured in Nigeria due to some factors affecting the healthcare system. Using the doctrinal method of study, this study examines the concept of the rights of patients in Nigeria. It discusses the nature of the health system in Nigeria and highlights the rights stated in the 2018 Patients’ Bill of Rights as well as the corresponding duties of healthcare practitioners. The study discovers that the rights of patients in Nigeria.


Human rights are rights which all persons are entitled to have, regardless of their race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion or other status. These rights are recognized by the laws of various countries as well as international legal instruments. Based on these established notions of rights, the concept of patients’ rights was developed. A patient is anyone requiring health services for the purpose of maintaining, protecting or improving his or her health. Thus, the law protects those receiving medical care and ensures that their rights to adequate and quality care; autonomy; consent; information and confidentiality, are respected. The level of adherence to these rights is a determinant of the attainment of the recommended standard of health.

Authors: Olaitan O. Olusegun, Babafemi Odunsi