10 February, 2010
THE Indian Medical Association (IMA), that has been working with the Rugna Hakka Samiti, Jan Arogya Abhiyan and Federation of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of India (FOGSI), has decided to set up grievance cells.
A Patients’ Rights Charter will also be issued to private hospitals, said Dr Dilip Sarda, chief of the Pune unit of IMA. They have demanded that hospitals display the charter prominently.
Doctor–patient relations are not like that of sellerbuyer. Though unexpected medical complications cannot be predicted, they need to be detected in time, treated promptly and a good rapport established with the patients/relatives. If the doctor–patient relations are healthy, a good rapport can be established in delicate situations, Sarda said at a press conference, attended by Dr Abhay Shukla of the Jan Arogya Abhiyan and others, on Tuesday.
Patients should know their responsibilities which will enable doctors to do their duty satisfactorily. The charter includes patients’ rights like right to emergency medical care, right to information where patients should be given the adequate relevant information – like doctor’s experience, the nature, cause, and likely outcome of the present illness. Relevant information about proposed care, expected results, risks and advantages of various alternative procedures and treatment options and the possible effects of the non–use of medical treatment should also be told.
Patients or the persons authorised by patients should be informed about the approximate cost of the treatment. Patients and their families should be informed about the financial implications when there is a change in their health condition or treatment setting, they said. It also includes right to informed consent and right to confidentiality. Patients or persons authorised by patients have the right to seek a second opinion on request, from a health provider of one’s choice by inviting him/her to the same hospital.
Right to human dignity and privacy of the patient, non–discrimination on the basis of HIV status, right to choose alternative treatment if options are available, right to make suggestions/complaints and seek redressal are among other rights.