Hospitals are a scary place, for anyone. And that’s understandable. Although hospitals are a place of healing, they can also be a place of loss. We have no control over the course of life and death. That all falls to the power of the Almighty Allah (s.w.t), the All-Knowing.
But what can make it a bit easier, is for you to know your rights as a patient. Regardless if you are the patient or your family member or friend, rights are so important. Your rights give you control of your situation and your rights give you the opportunity to choose what is best for you.
Not many people know their rights, and sometimes those rights are not stressed enough to the public. There is a lack of understanding or awareness of a patient’s right. But nevertheless, here are a guideline of patient’s right, based on the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA).
*The followings are direct quotations from MMA : Patient’s Rights, in order to not cause any confusion or extrapolate and misguide any information to the public.
- Right to Health Care and Humane Treatment
- Right to have access to competent health care and treatment (regardless of age, sex, ethnic origin, religion, political affiliation, economic status or social class)
- Right for health services to be available on the basis of clinical need (regardless of the ability to pay); Shall be the responsibility of the Government to ensure that every person has access to essential health services
- Right to be treated with care, consideration, respect, dignity (without discrimination)
- All drugs shall be of acceptable standards
- Right to prompt emergency first aid treatment from the nearest government or private medical and health faculty
- Right to being interviewing and examined in surroundings designed to ensure reasonable privacy
- Right to be chaperoned during any physical examination or treatment, except in cases of emergency
- Right for a child to have the company of a parent or guardian
- Right to Choice of Care
- Right to have a second opinion at any time
- Right to know the investigations conducted, the results and a copy of medical reports and have them explained
- Right to authorise in writing, for another health professional to obtain a copy
- Right to be treated at a hospital of choice and to be referred to a consultant of choice
- Right to adequate information about his or her condition during consultation
- Right to accept or refuse treatment
- Right to discharge the health professional and seek services of another
- Right to Acceptable Safety
- Right to have a clear, concise explanation of the proposed procedure or of any alternative procedure
- Right to information of significant risks, side-effects, or after-effects etc.
- Right to information of the presence of a student
- Right to refusing a treatment or investigation
- Right to Adequate Information and Consent
*this is a highlighted and extremely important right for all patients, therefore I chose to not paraphrase/interpret this. Instead, please refer to the photo attached (which is of the direct wording of the MMA)
- Right to Redress of Grievances
- Right of access to appropriate grievance redressal mechanism
- Right to seek legal advice (for alleged malpractice)
- Right to recover damages for injury or illness (from failure of the health professional to exercise the duty and standard of care)
- Right to Participation and Representation
- Right to participate in decision-making (with the health professionals and personnel)
- Right to Health Education
- Right to seek and obtain advice with promotive, preventive, curative medicine and rehabilitation to maintain or regain good health and lifestyle
- Right to Healthy Environment
- Right to a safe and healthy work and home environment
- Right to a safe and healthy environment to receive medical care and treatment