Private hospitals, doctors can't do these things anymore soon! Check Modi govt's plan
The Union government's health ministry at the Centre has released a draft charter on patients’ rights prepared by the National Human Rights Commission (NGRC).
The Union government's health ministry at the Centre has released a draft charter on patients’ rights prepared by the National Human Rights Commission (NGRC). When it comes into force, hospitals would be restrained from doing so many things they are often reported doing today to mint money. It has been prepared by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). The government plans to implement the charter through state governments for the provision of proper health care by clinical establishments. The charter is expected to come into force soon.
Here are some of the important provisions that stop hospitals, or doctors, from doing many things:
Detain: Hospitals cannot detain a patient and not allow him or her to take discharge over procedural grounds such as a dispute in payment of hospital charges. It is the duty of the hospital to not wrongfully confine any patient, or dead body of a patient, treated in the hospital under any circumstance. “A patient has the right to take a discharge and cannot be detained in a hospital, on procedural grounds such as the dispute in payment of hospital charges. Similarly, caretakers have the right to the dead body of a patient who had been treated in a hospital and the dead body cannot be detailed on procedural grounds, including nonpayment/dispute regarding payment of hospital charges against wishes of the caretakers," says the draft.
Deny information: Hospitals can't deny relevant information about the nature, cause of illness, provisional/ confirmed diagnosis, proposed investigations and management, and possible complications. Hospitals/or doctors must provide the relevant information at the patient's level of understanding in a language known to him/her.
Deny Treatment cost information: Hospitals can't deny giving the patient information regarding the expected cost of treatment based on evidence. It is the duty of the hospital to communicate this information in writing to the patient and his/her designated caretaker.
- Records: Every patient or his caregiver has the right to access originals/copies of case papers, indoor patient records, investigation reports (during a period of admission, preferably within 24 hours and after discharge, within 72 hours).
- Emergency care: All hospitals both in the government and in the private sector are duty bound to provide basic Emergency Medical Care, and injured persons have a right to get Emergency Medical Care. Such care must be initiated without demanding payment/advance and basic care should be provided to the patient irrespective of paying capacity.
- Second opinion: hospitals can't deny any patient or the caregiver permission to seek the second opinion from an appropriate clinician of patients’/caregivers’ choice. "The hospital management has a duty to respect the patient’s right to second opinion, and should provide to the patients' caregivers all necessary records and information required for seeking such opinion without any extra cost or delay."
Charges: Hospitals can't deny any patient information on the on the rates to be charged by the hospital for each type of service provided and facilities available on a prominent display board and a brochure. Patients have the right to receive an itemized detailed bill at the time of payment.
-Medicines: Hospitals can't deny patients medicines at the rates fixed by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) and other relevant authorities.
- The draft says, "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, gender, age, sexual orientation, linguistic or geographical /social origins."
Safety/Security: "Patients have a right to safety and security in the hospital premises. They have a right to be provided with care in an environment having requisite cleanliness, infection control measures, safe drinking water as per BIS/FSSAI Standards and sanitation facilities."
Alternative treatment: Hospitals can't deny patients or their caregivers their right to choose between alternative treatment/management options, if these are available, after considering all aspects of the situation.
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Medicine store: Patients have the right to choose any registered pharmacy, or test centres, of their choice to purchase the medicine prescribed by a doctor/hospital.
Referral and transfer: Hospitals can't turn away patients. The draft says, "A patient has the right to continuity of care, and the right to be duly registered at the first healthcare facility where treatment has been sought, as well as at any subsequent facilities where care is sought."
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