4000+ Doctors sign petition to include Patient Responsibilities in the Patient Charter
On 30th August 2018, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) uploaded a draft of the "Charter of Patient's Rights" on its website which was formulated by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). The ministry had invited suggestions/comments from the public within 30 days from its date of release of the draft.
The Charter evoked mixed responses and many doctors suggested that a “Charter of Patient Responsibilities” must be drafted on similar lines. In an attempt to bridge the gap between patient' and doctors' rights, the Editorial team at PlexusMD composed a "Charter of Patients' Responsibilities" with inputs from similar charters across the world and senior doctors. We proposed a "Charter of Patients' Responsibilities" comprising 14 points that could be broadly categorised into four key facets of doctor-patient relations: Trust, Respect, Disclosure and Cooperation.
We solicited the views of doctors and medical students across the country on the proposed "Charter of Patients' Responsibilities". The campaign was widely circulated through social media and 4,468 respondents (primarily doctors) across India (phew!) shared their responses. A significant majority (>99%, i.e. 4,428 respondents) of the doctors said they believe that the fourteen points included in the "Charter of Patients' Responsibilities” must be included in the Charter of Patients’ rights. The overall analysis suggested that the Doctor community is hopeful that the “Charter of Patient’s Responsibilities” will indeed play a pivotal role not only in bettering and empowering the doctor-patient relationship but also ensuring a more secure and transparent environment for practicing medicine and improving the quality of care they can provide.
On September 26th, we submitted our report titled "Voice of 4000+ doctors: Inclusion of Patients' Responsibilities in the Patient Charter" to the MOHFW. We hope this report would prove useful to the Government in assessing the prevailing opinion and that the Ministry chooses in favour of the opinion expressed by a substantial cross-section of the medical fraternity.
As promised, you can access the full report here: https://pxmd.co/XS2Rv
The proposed “Charter of Patients’ Responsibilities”
With inputs from senior doctors and similar charters across the world, we present a set of 14 important points which according to us must be included in the official Patient charter in the “Responsibilities and Duties of the Patiennt” section. These points, grouped into four categories viz. Trust, Respect, Discoluse and Cooperation, encapsulate the most important responsibilities and duties of a patient and expectations from the doctor. Patients and their caretakers play one of the most important roles in the management of their own health and can significantly improve outcomes by following and adopting these simple guidelines.
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Support for the "Charter of Patient Responsibilities" from the Doctor Community
We thank each one of you for such an overwhelming response and for supporting our initiative with your kind words of encouragement. There were many interesting comments and suggestions pertaining to violence, loss of property or related laws, use and abuse of Social Media, Doctors’ fees and the role of the Patient and the caretaker.