While we all have rights as patients, we also have responsibilities and in this section we’ll be outlining those rights and responsibilities.

Patients’ Rights

  • Every patient has the right to be given the highest standard of medical care and to be treated with dignity and respect at all time and to have his or her privacy respected at all time.
  • Every patient whether insured or not, should receive the best standard of care.
  • Every patient has the right to expect that he or she is referred to the consultant or physician who is the most appropriate for the condition that needs treating.
  • Every patient is entitled to receive an estimate of the potential fees from their consultant and hospital before making a decision about who should treat them. However, some patient conditions may make the provision of an estimate impossible.
  • Every patient complaint should be thoroughly investigated and the outcome reported to the patient in a timely fashion together with an explanation of the nature of the investigation.
  • If a complaint about a doctor or consultant, insurer or hospital or clinic is not responded to in a timely or satisfactory manner, the patient has the right to take the matter or matters to an appropriate regulator.

Patients’ Responsibilities

  • Patients are ultimately responsible for their medical fees whether or not they receive reimbursement from their insurer according to the provisions of their specific policy.
  • Patients have the responsibility to behave in a courteous manner whatever the situation and to understand and act in a way that a doctor, hospital or insurer requests in order to receive the best possible treatment and service. Simple things like arriving late for an appointment, not following a request to stop eating some hours before a test or not telling an insurer about your treatment early enough, can lead to problems and sometimes to avoidable disputes.
  • Patients have a responsibility to raise any issues – dissatisfaction with a particular aspect of service, for example – at the earliest possible time and in a calm manner.

In the following sections we deal with how to make a complaint and then how to seek the help of regulators for doctors, hospitals and insurers.

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