The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission on Friday lauded the robust and detailed decision of the coroner in the case of the Inquest into the death of Peju Ugboma who underwent a procedure at Premier Medical Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos.
OBSERVERSTIMES recall that that Ugboma died after she suffered internal bleeding following an elective hysterectomy operation for a fibroid condition in April 2021.
The FCCPC opened an investigation upon the death of Mrs. Ugboma with the expectation that consumer protection issues associated with the duty and standard of care will be addressed.
However, the full extent of that investigation only became possible under the auspices of the Lagos State Coroner during this Inquest.
The FCCPC team, led personally by the Executive Vice Chairman, Babatunde Irukera, joined as a party before the Inquest and participated fully.
A statement on Friday by the FCCPC management noted that the findings and conclusions of the coroner are instructive and validate why the FCCPC was concerned and investigated this occurrence.
The statement further stressed that the coroner’s conclusion that Premier failed to exercise due diligence prior to the procedure; and provided substandard or suboptimal care from a corporate responsibility standpoint which underscore the importance and validity of the FCCPC’s role in this case and other medical cases, as well as infringed Right 11 of the FCCPC’s Patients’ Bill of Rights which iterates the right to quality care in accordance with prevailing standards and several relevant provisions of the FCCPA.
The statement partly reads,“The same is the case with respect to the Coroner’s conclusion that Premier failed to exercise appropriate care and standards in patient care by making careless entries and poorly documenting case notes in monitoring the deceased, making prompt appropriate intervention problematic.
It concluded that Premier failed in the duty of care it owed to the patient, including by an unwillingness to consider reassessments or further procedures where applicable and not having appropriate medical devices/equipment commensurate to the services or reasonable expectations associated with the services it was providing, possibly contributed to the unfortunate outcome in this case, underscores the role and need for strengthening patient care regulation, in addition to, and apart from individual practitioner professional regulation.
The FCCPC thanked the Lagos state government, the coroner in this case, and other parties to the inquest, for their commitment demonstrated through this process.
They added that “although Mrs. Ugboma is gone, the Commission is again commiserating with her family for this loss, while thanking them for the demonstrated interest in improving healthcare outcomes for others, and allowing her passing to contribute to a legacy of improvement and better healthcare outcomes for Nigerians.”