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Protection of patients' rights - recommendations of experts

MedExpress Team


Published July 19, 2023 15:25

Protection of patients' rights - recommendations of experts - Header image
Observance of patient rights is a prerequisite for realizing the humanistic mission of health systems. In the face of contemporary challenges resulting from epidemiological, technological, institutional and social changes, it is necessary to create conditions for a more effective functioning of the health system that guarantees the fullest possible observance of patient rights. Four directions of interventions necessary to be taken in this area were indicated by experts of the Polish Health 2.0 project.

Outline of the problem

The concept of "patient rights" is commonly used today in discussions about health systems, but also in the legal and ethical norms that govern their operation.

The three groups of patient rights include:

  1. basic individual rights - to informed consent, privacy, dignity, and access to medical records and information about one's health,
  2. Consumer rights - to a choice of provider, a second opinion, safe and timely treatment, and to information on choosing care options,
  3. Procedural (procedural) rights - to file a complaint/suit, to compensation and to participate in decision-making.

Poland has had a law on Patients' Rights and Patients' Ombudsman (PPiRPP) for more than thirteen years, in which a catalog of subjective patient rights was first formulated. Epidemiological, technological, institutional and social changes that have occurred since then require work leading to the creation of a new legal and institutional reality affecting the quality of care and patient safety.

Patients' rights as the foundation of health systems - expert recommendations

Academics and practitioners participating in the Polish Health 2.0 project have identified four directions of intervention that seem crucial for a more efficient health system that guarantees the fullest possible respect for patients' rights:

  1. Expand the catalog of patient rights and clarify terminological issues

The current PPiRPP Law distinguishes between individual and collective rights of the patient, and the catalog of these rights presented applies to patients receiving health services from public and non-public medical entities and from professional pract...

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