IMA comes up with pointers clarifying patients’ obligations

Charter asks them to pay bills on time, not avail free schemes without reason and stay cordial with doctors

Vicky Pathare | Pune Mirror
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The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has come up with a charter of patients’ responsibility, pointers of which have been sent to the Union health ministry, to be included in the pre-existing charter of patients. The draft prepared by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has been put up by the ministry in a bid to invite suggestions from stakeholders.

The charter of patients’ responsibility calls for inclusion of key aspects such as trust, respect, disclosure and cooperation as major recommendations. According to the draft put up by the ministry, hospitals cannot detain patients or bodies of the deceased over pendency of bills. The recommendation states that doctors or hospital staff should not suffer through any undue pressure from patients by references over caste, creed, language, political influence among other things.

Dr Jayant Navrange, member of the IMA committee, said, “It is the responsibility of the patient and they should trust the doctor and have confidence in the treatment imparted to them. They should not use social media and other sources for enhancing their knowledge and should refrain from self-diagnosis and self–medication.”

Furthermore, these responsibilities expect patients to not anticipate free services or concessions unless they are eligible for the scheme which applies to the institute and should also ensure timely payment of fees.

“In case of any discontent regarding medical care, they should first discuss it with the doctor and file their grievance with the hospital or the institute. They should avoid attempts of public defamation or engage in disparaging comments to the media and social media,” the recommendations states.

Further pointers for patients include intimations on allergies and diseases like HIV or tuberculosis. In cases of suspected homicide, domestic violence, suicide and road accidents, the circumstances have to be informed to the doctors so that doctors can report it as a medico legal case. Dr Sanjeev Kamble, director of public health department, said, “At present, the rules and regulations of health care vary throughout the country. The recommendations sent by the IMA will be revived by the ministry and after discussion, it will be finalised. We are going to include it in the Clinical Establishment Act.”

By the time the edition went to the press, the Union ministry had not responded to queries.

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