Aiming to promote the rights of the Patients, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has released the draft of patient’s rights.
The draft, prepared by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), has been put up on the Health Ministry’s website for comments and suggestions. According to a notice issued by Joint Secretary Sudhir Kumar, the Ministry plans to implement the Charter of Patients’ Rights through State governments for the provision of proper health care by clinical establishments.
According to a government official, ‘Although some States have adopted the national Clinical Establishments Act 2010 and certain others have enacted their own State-level legislation to regulate hospitals; there is no consolidated document on patients’ rights that can be followed by all States uniformly’
The draft charter that includes 17 rights with description draws upon all relevant provisions, inspired by international charters and guided by national level provisions, with the objective of consolidating these into a single document. This charter is expected to act as a guidance document for the Union Government and State Governments to formulate concrete mechanisms so that Patients’ Rights are given adequate protection and operational mechanisms are set up to make these rights functional and enforceable by law. The onus is now on the States to follow the charter effectively.