The ignorance of most Ghanaian patients is something that lots of stakeholders benefit from with the exception of the patient who bears the disadvantage. From the government heads to the hospital heads, the doctors, nurses, pharmacists, midwives, medical laboratory scientists, and all other working professionals and auxiliaries in our health facilities across the nation. Because the patient doesn’t know their right, they are more often than not given any kind of care. But learning your right as a patient can not only arm you to demand the right care, but also put others on their toes to deliver the best care.
THE PATIENT’S RIGHTS
As a patient;
- You have a right to quality basic health care regardless of your geographical location ( it is your right, do not let anyone make you feel like they are doing you a favour).
- You are entitled to full information on your condition and its management and the possible risks involved except in emergency situations when you are unable to make a decision and the need for treatment is urgent. (As a patient, always ask questions. If the nurses and doctors are not telling you, you have the right to ask. So ask and be informed about your own health. Never leave the hospital not knowing what you are suffering from, what caused it, how to prevent and manage it).
- You have the right to know of alternative treatment(s) and other health care providers within the Service if these may contribute to improved outcomes.
- You have the right to know the identity of all your caregivers and other persons who may handle you including students, trainees and ancillary workers .
- You have the right to consent or decline to participate in a proposed research study involving you after a full explanation has been given. The patient may withdraw at any stage of the research project.
- If you decline to participate in or withdraw from a research project, you are still entitled to the most effective care available.
- As a patient you have the right to privacy during consultation, examination and treatment.
- In cases where it is necessary to use the patient or his/her case notes for teaching and conferences, the consent of the patient must be sought.
- You are entitled to confidentiality of information obtained about you and such information shall not be disclosed to a third-party without your consent or the person entitled to act on your behalf except where such information is required by law or is in the public interest.
- You are entitled to all relevant information regarding policies and regulation of the health facilities that you attended.
- Procedures for complaints, disputes and conflict resolution shall be explained to patients or their accredited representatives.
- Hospital charges, mode of payments and all forms of anticipated expenditure shall be explained to the patient prior to treatment.
- In case of any exemption facilities, they shall be made known to the patient.
- As a patient you are entitled to personal safety and reasonable security of property within the confines of the Institution ( As a patient in a hospital, it is the duty of the hospital to protect you from any kind of harm. If the hospital fails to do so, you have the right to demand for it or in severe cases, take legal action against them).
- You (patient) have the right to a second medical opinion if you so desire. (This means if you are not comfortable, convinced or satisfied with the care and options you are being given by a particular doctor or hospital, you can ask or choose to seek another opinion).
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