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Charter of Patients’ Rights

Topics Covered:

  1. Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources, issues relating to poverty and hunger.
  2. Citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

 

Charter of Patients’ Rights

 

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Highlights of the draft and the need for Charter of Patients’ Rights.

 

Context: The Jan Swasthya Abhiyan (JSA), a national platform working on health and healthcare services, urged the Ministry of Health to immediately implement the Charter of Patients’ Rights and ensure the inclusion of the entire range of patients’ rights without any dilution.

 

Background:

In August 2018, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare announced its plans to implement this Charter, which was placed in the public domain for inviting comments up to 30th September, 2018. Although nearly 4 months have elapsed since this declaration of intent, there seems to have been no further progress on finalisation and adoption of the charter.

 

Need of Charter of Patients’ Rights:

  1. Right to non-discrimination is an important right. Every patient has the right to receive treatment without any discrimination based on his or her illnesses or conditions, including HIV status or other health condition, religion, caste, ethnicity or sexual orientation.
  2. The charter assumes significance as India does not have a dedicated regulator like other countries. Existing regulations in the interest of patients and governing healthcare delivery systems are still on the anvil.

 

The draft Charter of Patients’ Rights:

It has been prepared by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

  • The draft charter includes 17 rights with description, inspired by international charters and guided by national level provisions, with the objective of consolidating these into a single document.
  • The proposed Charter draws upon all the existing relevant provisions, thereby making them publicly known in a coherent manner.

 

The charter also prescribes certain responsibilities that the patient must adhere to. These include:

  • Providing all required information to their doctor, without concealing relevant facts, so as to ensure a correct diagnosis and treatment.
  • Patients are also expected to follow all instructions regarding appointment time, co-operate with hospital staff and fellow patients, avoid creating disturbance to other patients, and maintain cleanliness in the hospital.
  • Patients should respect the dignity of the doctor and other hospital staff. Whatever the grievance may be, patient or caregivers should not resort to violence in any form.
  • The patients should also take responsibility for their actions based on choices made regarding treatment options and in case they refuse treatment.

 

Sources: the hindu.