March 02, 2009

New bill to empower patients against hospitals

If a proposed legislation goes through, you may soon be able to raise your voice against a hospital for overbilling you, denying your medical records or referring you elsewhere without a reason.

Patients' rights as well as the rights of healthcare providers might get legal recognition with the Union health ministry recently drawing up a draft legislation called the National Health Bill 2009.

The draft is the outcome of a long-standing demand by the Jan Swasthya Abhiyan (people's health movement) which has been advocating a national health act to regulate both the public and private healthcare systems. The draft bill has recently been put up on the ministry's website to invite public comment.

"Public health is an important area and the draft was intended to bring in regulation. It is still under consultation and was recently circulated among individual state governments," said joint secretary, ministry of health and family welfare Amarjeet Sinha.

He explained that patient's rights, such as the right to emergency care for instance, were till now largely based on the interpretation of the law in various cases, and the bill once passed would be all-encompassing.

A comprehensive legislation, the bill will make it mandatory for hospitals to have independent complaint forums headed by a 24x7 official to redress patient grievances.

This will offer recorse to patients, in addition to existing courts and quasi-judicial bodies such as the medical council.

1 comment:

Dr LOKESHWAR SINGH said...

thats a good move

but what about the problems faced by drunkards those who enter in to the hospital
i am having problems in every shift in my ER where ppl get the best care in this region .
for ex after a long quarrel for nothing ,after every bsic care is attended to the inebriated person with comminuted fracture with his group of friends abused us, picked up aheated argument with the orthopedician and left the place with his group.
there is no legislation to contain such threats
i mean the legislation for such issues are not uniform law is different in this aspect in kerala TN ANDHRA

whats your say in that?

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