The breadth of health-related socioeconomic challenges faced by African populations is often complicated by a recognisable pattern of weakened accountability; inequalities and chronic underfunding of health and social care systems and absence of coherent administrative systems necessary to service quality excellence and enforceable legislation across the region.

It is for this reason that the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law (NBA-SBL) has formed a strategic partnership with BeyHealth Consulting to organise the 2018 Healthcare Management Conference themed “Medicine, Accountability and Law”.

The conference amongst other things seeks to identify gaps in existing laws, policy and professional regulation standards; examine the role and regulatory function of stakeholders in the healthcare industry; deliberate on the implications of a medico-legal framework for maintaining professional performance standards; and ultimately propose a framework to support consumer protection, enhanced patient safety standards and service quality excellence on behalf of the general public. Consumer protection is believed to be at the heart of the medico-legal question in healthcare.

Speaking about the event which holds on the 23rd and 24th of January 2018 in Lagos, the conveners of the conference, Dr Adetokunbo Shitta-Bey, CEO, BeyHealth Consulting/BeyHealth Foundation for Health & Social Care and Olumide Akpata, Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law, disclosed that the conference would also take a critical look at ethical and legal implications of aspects of medical practice in the context of Nigerian law.

Akpata said, “Participants will examine the gatekeeper responsibility of the individual medical practitioner and explore regulatory levers necessary to maintain accountability, professional performance standards and consumer protection throughout the healthcare delivery sector.”

Highlighting the activities at this conference, the organisers further disclosed that the sessions would include a wide range of hot topics such as, Medical Law and Ethics, Accountability and the Law; Negligence & Duty of Care; Healthcare sector regulation, Governance and Administration; Licensing, Indemnity and Accreditation; Medical Malpractice & Consumer Protection; Good Medical Practice & Healthcare Performance Standards; Evidence-based clinical practice; The Business of Healthcare; Medico-legal Protection – Insurance and Professional Indemnity; Provisions of the New National Health Bill, etc.,

These sessions will address crucial issues of consumer protection and professional performance standards vis-à-vis the rights and expectations of patients and citizens.

It is hoped that the extensive debate and discourse that would take place at this conference will amongst other things; expose members of the medical and legal professions to ethical and legal implications of aspects of medical practice in the context of Nigerian law; construct an objective critique of the existing medico-legal environment and identify essential requirements of a regulatory framework capable of improving patient safety; thereby, enhancing professional performance and safeguarding consumer protection on behalf of the general public.

The Guardian