Hyderabad: The Union health ministry's draft notification recognises 17 rights of a patient which need to be implemented by the states. These draft provisions give the patient the right to question hospital authorities during the course of treatment. A patient has the right to information, records, reports, to opt for alternative medicine, if possible. They also include the right to choose a source for obtaining medicine or diagnostic test and right to discharge of a patient and even receiving the body of the deceased. If the draft does not receive any objections by the deadline, all hospitals will need to implement the rights.
Krishna Murthy, a resident of Sri Nagar colony, who has studied the draft, pointed out, "The clause: every patient and his/her designated caretaker have the right to factual information regarding the 'expected cost' of the treatment based on evidence', is the need of the hour. The service sector has become a business to many private healthcare facilities and the medical charges burn the pocket. Many patients are unaware of the charges imposed under various parameters. There is a need for regulation."
He added that the draft requires the hospital to give the cost in writing to the patient, "and also inform them about the additional cost to be incurred due to change in physical condition. Most rights favour patients and their financial status. I don't see any reason for an individual to object to this draft."
Shalini Karmakar, a pharmacist, said the draft is envisaged to provide proper health care to patients.
"The right to choose the source for obtaining medicines or tests is much needed," she said....