Many countries such as Turkey, Denmark, Hungary, Malaysia, Japan, USA, South Africa and the United Kingdom have national documents that describe patients’ rights. Such documents aim to establish the rights of every person who requests medical care and to protect his/her dignity and privacy.
The World Health Organization (WHO), aware that abuses could occur in health issues, has prepared a Patient’s Bill of Rights with the following 12 provisions: - The patient has the right to considerate and respectful care. The patient has the right to obtain from his/her physician complete current information concerning his diagnosis in terms the patient can be reasonably expected to understand.
When it is not medically advisable to give such information to the patient, the information should be made available to an appropriate on his/her behalf. He/she has the right to know by name, the physician responsible for coordinating his/her care. The patient has the right to receive from his/her physician information necessary to give informed consent prior to the start of any procedure and treatment.
Where medically significant alternatives for care or treatment exist or when the patient requests information concerning medical alternatives. The patient has the right to such information. The patient has the right to know the name of the person responsible for the procedures and or treatment. The patient has the right to refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law and to be informed of the medical consequences of his action.
The patient has the right to every consideration of his/her privacy concerning his/her own medical care programme. Care discussion, consultation examination and treatment are confidential and should be conducted discreetly. Those not directly involved in his/ her care must have the permission of the patient to be present. The patient has the right to expect that all communications and records pertaining to his/her care should be treated as confidential.
The patient has the right to expect that within its capacity a hospital must make reasonable response to the request of a patient for services. The hospital must provide evaluation, service, and/ or referral as indicated by the urgency of the care. When medically permissible, a patient may be transferred to another facility only after he/she has received complete information and explanation concerning the needs for and alternatives to such transfer.
The institution to which the patient to be transferred must first have accepted the patient transfer. The patient has the right to obtain information as to any relationship of his/her hospital to other health care and educational institutions in so far his care is concerned, the patient has the right to obtain information as to the existence of any professional relationship
among individuals by name, who are treating him/her.
The patient has the right to be advised if the hospital proposes to engage in or perform human experimentation affecting his/her care or treatment. The patient has the right to refuse to participate in such research projects. The patient has the right to expect reasonable continuity of care. He/she has the right to know in advance what appointment times and physicians are available and where.
The patient has the right to expect that the hospital will provide delegate of the physician of the patient’s continuing health care requirements following discharge. The patient, in case of private treatment has the right to examine and receive explanation of his/her bill, regardless of source of payment. The patient has the right to know what hospital rules and regulations apply to his conduct as a patient.
That health, medical, and nursing staff giving services to the people/community should know that, they have double role to play, as service providers and as clients to the services. You should know your bill of rights of the patient; from any category positions him or herself. Professor Kisali Pallangyo Vice Chancellor-MUHAS, signed a press release on Thursday July 5 in the front page Daily News.
The press release was on the Statement of the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences Academic Staff on the current Health Services crisis in public hospitals. Among other things the caption message was “There is need for us as doctors to abide by ethics of the medical profession in the best interest of the patients we serve in order to ensure that we alleviate suffering, promote health and preserve human life.” Things will be okay if we all created dialogue and not confrontation on matters that deal with our welfare, at the end of the day, we are all patients in the pipeline.