Govt publicises Charter of Patients’ Rights
Draft is open to suggestions by public , med professionals till the end of Sept.
Pune: A rough draft of Charter of Patients’ Rights has been made public by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and is open to suggestions by the public and medical professionals in the country till the end of September.
Health activists and doctors from the city gave a mixed response to it, highlighting the need to clarify the norms further. Speaking to Sakal Times, Dr Abhijit Vaidya, Head of Aryoga Sena, said that many clauses, though are from the patients perspective, need to be revised and be made clearer.
“The clause for emergency service should have a sub-clause where the relatives are made responsible. The clause, though takes into account the patient’s perspective, should have a sub-clause where the relatives are also held by law for not paying the hospital,” said Dr Vaidya.
He added that hospitals may have to incur huge losses as relatives do not settle the bill, in case the patient dies. In such a scenario, medical establishments will suffer a lot.
What the charter says
Right to Information to the patient
Right to records and reports
Right to emergency medical care
Right to informed consent
Right to confidentiality, human dignity and privacy
Right to the second opinion
Right to transparency in rates, and care according to prescribed rates and wherever relevant
Right to non-discrimination
Right to safety and quality care according to standards
Right to choose alternative treatment options, if available
Right to choose the source for obtaining medicines or tests
Right to proper referral and transfer, which is free from perverse commercial influences
Right to protection for patients involved in clinical trials
Right to protection of participants involved in biomedical and health research
Right to discharge of patients or receive the body of deceased from hospital
Right to patient education
Right to heard and seek redressal
Similarly, Dr Vaidya pointed out that the Right To Information (RTI) is a good clause. However, a doctor cannot fully share insights to patients.
“In the process of diagnosing, the doctor’s mind is tracking the change in the patient’s body. However, he does not pen down every detail. Hence, telling the patient everything is not possible. Only the necessary and important details should be shared with the patients,” said Dr Vaidya.
As a solution to the loopholes in the charter, Dr Vaidya suggested that the public health system should be made stronger to provide better medical facility to the poor and to make the health care system more transparent.
Speaking about the charter, Dr Padma Iyer, President of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Pune chapter, said that the clauses of the charter are welcome. “The patient has every right to know what kind of treatment is done. The medical fraternity has never forced patients to take a decision and has always helped the patients weigh the options available to them. The patients must be informed, it is their right,” said Dr Iyer.