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Opinions Wed, 31 Jul 2019

Patients bill of right

It is fundamentally important for every citizen to know his or her right. One fundamental right that is ignored in Ghana is the Patients’ Bill of Right. Very few Ghanaians know these rights exist. Patients’ Bill of right must be adopted and practised as declared by the Joint Commission in Accreditation of Healthcare Organisation (JCAHCO). I would like to use this platform to educate my country men on these rights:

The Patient Bill of Rights as endorsed by the (JCAHCO) are as follows.

The patient has the right to know the identity and professional status of the individuals providing the healthcare services and to know the physician or the practitioner who is responsible for his or her care. The patient must know the kind of physician or practitioner the service provider is, and what is going to be done to his or her body.

The patient must make sure that any discussion or consultation involving his or her case or sickness will be conducted or kept in secret and the service provider has no right to tell anybody without the patient’s permission.

Also, every patient has the right to get full, good and fair access to treatment or accommodation that is available or medically indicated, no matter the race, sex, sources of payment for care and creed. All the things available in the hospital for the patient’s care must be used when needed.

The patient must also obtain from the practitioner, complete and current information about diagnosis treatment and any known prognosis in terms, or to the point where the patient can reasonably understand.

A physician or practitioner must inform the patient about the hospital’s rules and regulations concerning patient treatment and conduct. A patient also has every right to ask for the rules and regulations before the practitioner works on him or her.

Every patient has the right to refuse treatment to the level or extent permitted by law. If a patient refuses treatment, the physician or practitioner has no right to force treatment on him or her but must make sure that it is recorded, including the reasons why he or she does not want to be treated.

A patient has the right to request and receive a detailed explanation of the total bill for the services rendered in the hospital.

This is an education to both patients and practitioners in order to make our Healthcare System a better one.

Columnist: Kingsford Ansah and Richmond Kwesi Ansah