Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS & UPPSC Mains Exam: Paper - III (General Studies – II) - 18 November 2019

Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS Mains Exam


Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS & UPPSC Mains Exam


UPSC Syllabus:

  • Paper-III: General Studies -II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)

Q. What do you understand by the Patients' Rights Charter? Enumerate the responsibilities of the patients and caretakers as laid down in the draft. (250 words)

Model Answer:

  • Why in News?
  • Introduction
  • Patients’ Rights Charter
  • Responsibilities of the patients and caretakers as laid down in the draft
  • Conclusion

Why in News?

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare notified the first 'Charter of Patient Rights' (the 'Draft Charter') in order to remove the current asymmetry in the healthcare sector.

Introduction:

In India the legal provisions related to patients’ rights were scattered across different statutes like the Constitution of India, Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations 2002, the Consumer Protection Act 1986, the Drugs and Cosmetic Act 1940, the Clinical Establishment Act 2010, etc. For the first time, the 'Charter of Patient Rights' (the 'Draft Charter') lays down the 17 basic rights of Patients.

Patients’ Rights Charter:

The debate on the protection of patients continues even in 2019. Adoption and implementation of the Charter for Patient’s Rights will help in strengthening the protection of the rights of the patients. There are several cases of violations of Patients’ Rights by doctors and hospitals authority.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) formulated the Patients’ Rights Charter, delineating 17 rights which should be honoured by all public and private healthcare establishments.

The rights that were delineated in the charter seeks to protect the rights of the patients over:

  • Information about their illness, treatment and costs, their right to access records and reports,
  • The right to seek the second opinion,
  • The right to emergency medical care irrespective of paying capacity,
  • The right to transparency in rates
  • Right to choose a pharmacy or pathology laboratory
  • The right to discharge a patient or receive a dead body, without detention by the hospital
  • The right to grievance redressal.

This document is expected to act as a guidance document for both the Union and State governments to formulate concrete mechanisms so that patients’ rights are given adequate protection and operational mechanism can be formulated.

This Draft Charter would also generate widespread public awareness and educate citizens regarding what they should expect from their governments and health care providers about the kind of treatment they deserve as patients and human beings, in health care settings.

Responsibilities of the patients and caretakers as laid down in the draft:

The Draft Charter also enumerates the responsibilities of patients and caretakers so as to enable the doctors and hospitals could perform their work satisfactorily -

  • All required health-related information is to be disclosed to the doctors by the patients. So as to facilitate better diagnosis and treatment of the patients.
  • Patients should cooperate with the doctor during an examination, diagnostic tests, and treatment,
  • The patients should follow a doctor's advice while keeping in view their right to participate in decision making related to treatment.
  • Patients should follow all instructions regarding appointment timecooperate with hospital staff and fellow patients, avoid creating disturbance to other patients.
  • Patients should maintain cleanliness in the hospital.
  • Patients should respect the dignity of the doctor and other hospital staff as human beings and as professionals.
  • Patients should take responsibility for their actions based on choices made regarding treatment options, and in case they refuse treatment.

Conclusion:

The patients’ charter is a very important document. As India lacks a dedicated regulator like other countries there is an urgent need for such a charter in India. The Charter of Patient’s Rights has been drafted with the hope that it shall be incorporated by policymakers in all existing and emerging regulatory legislation concerning the health care sector.

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