Health Tips and Guidelines
Patient’s Bill of Rights and Responsibilities
Introduction:
Ministry of Health provides all health services in its facilities to patients without any discrimination. In addition, it acknowledges the rights of patients and their families during their treatment in its facility and expects them to fulfill the responsibilities assigned to them.

All workers in the health facility are committed to patients' rights and realize that they are MOH representatives. They have appropriate Islamic and social manners when dealing directly with patients and their families. They are also expected to guide them to Patients Relations Directorate to file their complaints or suggestions, where the Directorate’s official protects their rights and clarify it properly.
 

Definitions:
Terms in this bill shall be defined as follows:

  • Health Facility:
    Health Facility is the facility related to MOH or work under its supervision. It provides health services to patients whether it was a clinic, health center, dispensary or hospital.
  • Patient’s Rights:
    Patient’s rights are policies and rules that must be preserved and protected by the Health facility toward patients and their families.
  • Patient’s Responsibilities:
    Patient’s Responsibilities are the instructions that must be followed by patients and their families.
  • Patient’s Family:
    The patient's family includes his/her family members, visitors and legal guardian.
  • Legal Guardian:
    The legal guardian is the person who is responsible about the patient by low or religion and entitled to sign on his/her behalf when he/she is incapable of caring for his/her own interests due to infancy, incapacity, or disability.
  • Child:
    Every patient under 12 years old is considered a child.
  • Declaration Form:
    Declaration form is a form that is not valid unless it’s filled out by the patient or his/her legal guardian. That is to start conducting the requested procedure, where the signature is considered an approval of the information contained in the declaration form.
  • Clinical Research and Study Programs:
    Programs in which patients are required to try new medications or treatments in order to compare between them to improve them. This is done by specialists under the supervision of qualified staff members.


1) Patient and Family Rights
Patient Rights:
1/ knowing Patient and Family Rights and Responsibilities: The patient and his/her family are entitle to:

  • Introduce the patient to the facility mission and the patient and family rights and responsibilities toward it.
  • Give a copy of the Patient and Family rights and responsibilities Bill to the patient when he/she enter or register at the health facility.
  • Patient Relations Directorate staff should help the patient to understand the Bill better.
  • Ensure that the Bill is available at health services departments in an outstanding place.
  • Have posters, pamphlets or advertising banners about the Bill in the reception and waiting area of the health facility.
  • Post Patient Relations offices numbers in visible places.
2/ Getting Health Care: The patient and his/her family are entitle to:
  • Provide the patient with the right treatment in the right time without discrimination as to race, religion, believe, creed, language, sex, age or disability. That is according to the policies and procedures of treatment eligibility and the capacity of the facility and its regulations.
  • Ensure that the patient or his/her legal guardian is fully and clearly informed about the case and health status in an understandable language.
  • Have an appropriate mechanism to educate them enough to deal with the patient’s medical condition.
  • Provide the patient with adequate nutrition that is appropriate for his/her medical condition.
  • Asses and manage the patient pain appropriately.
3/ Privacy and Confidentiality: The patient and his/her family are entitle to:
  • o Discuss the treatment with the patient or his/her legal guardian confidentiality.
  • o Cover the patient private parts unless a medically urgent situation arose.
  • o Maintain the confidentiality of the patient's information, diagnosis, tests, treatment and medical records. That is unless the patient or legal guardian grants the permission to release them - unless it's legally needed.
  • Refuse to see anyone not concerned with providing the health service, including visitors.
  • Patient medical record is accessible only to:
    • The medical team caring for the patient.
    • The quality management program team.
    • The health facility research team.
    • People with a written authorization of the patient, legal guardian or legal authorities.
  • Provide the patient with appropriate outfits and necessary personal kit.
  • Have separated male and female waiting areas.
  • Transfer the patient to a private examination room if his room was not suitable for examination.
  • Ensure the presence of someone of the same sex as the patient in the examination room.
  • Ensure that the patient doesn't stay in the examination room more than needed.
4/ Safety and Protection: The patient and his/her family are entitle to:
  • Provide patient with health care in a safe environment that is appropriate to the patient health condition.
  • Not to isolate the patient unless it’s needed.
  • Safely transfer the patient from and to the health facility .
  • Set enough procedures to protect patient possessions from theft and damage.
  • Protect patients from any kind of harm.
  • Have a special policy to protect children, people with special needs and old people them from all forms of abuse or harm.
  • Forbid smoking in all the health establishment facilities, and designate specific smoking areas away from the places of health services.
5/ Respect and Appreciation: The patient and his/her family are entitle to:
  • Treat the patient with courtesy and respect, with appreciation of his/her individual dignity, no matter of the time or conditions.
  • Respect the patient’s identity by calling him/her with his/her official name.
  • Respect the patient’s cultural, psychosocial, spiritual and personal values, beliefs and preferences.
  • Asses and manage the patient pain appropriately.
  • Provide decent care to patient in case of dying or death and treat the corpse with respect.
  • Provide the patient with adequate nutrition that is appropriate for his/her medical condition.
6/ Participation in the Healthcare Plan: The patient and his/her family are entitle to:
  • Introduce the patient to the services provided by the health facility, the proposed healthcare plan in addition to the potentials and capability of the health facility.
  • Provide the patient or his/her legal guardian with complete and updated information about the diagnosis and treatment in an understandable language.
  • Introduce the patient to the identity and professional status of the health care providers responsible of his treatment, and inform him/her in case there are licensed trainees in the medical team.
  • Discuss the potential complications, risks, benefits and the alternatives to the proposed procedures - if any- with the patient or his/her legal guardian.
  • Provide the patient or his/her legal guardian with needed information before any treatment procedure or surgery. That is before signing the declaration form. In addition, the patient is entitled to know the name of the physician performing the procedure except in emergency cases where immediate medical intervention is required under the standard regulations.
  • Inform the patient of the kind of interventions, medications and the radiology used in the treatment; there efficiency and safety.
  • Clarify the reasons of transferring the patient to another department in the health facility or to another health facility and give him necessary instructions.
  • Have the possibility of obtaining a second opinion in coordination with the Patient Relations Directorate in the health facility.
7/ Refuse Treatment: The patient and his/her family are entitle to:
  • Inform the patient or his/her legal guardian of the right of refusing the treatment or a part of it; taking into account the adopted laws and regulations. That is in addition to the expected consequences, where the patient must sign a declaration that confirms his/her decision.
  • There will be no procedures or decisions, that is not related to the health condition, taken against the patient as a result of refusing the treatment. The health facility will continue provide appropriate health care to the patient according to standard medical criteria.
  • There will be no procedures or decisions taken against the patient as a result of refusing the treatment in case the patient wanted to treat the same illness or another one.
  • The patient or his/her legal guardian is fully responsible of his decisions or acts in case he/she refused treatment or didn’t follow its instructions.
  • Inform the patient of other alternative treatments in case he refused the treatment.
8/ Participation in Research Studies: The patient and his/her family are entitle to:
  • The patient may participate in a research study that is related to his/her case if he/she met its requirement and based on the research capacity.
  • Provide the patient with clear and comprehensive information about the research or the used clinical, therapeutic and medication treatment in addition to the expected outcomes.
  • The patient has the right to give his or her consent or refusal to participate before or during the research or the study.
  • Provide a special form in order to participate in any research or study that must be signed by the patient or his/her legal guardian.
  • Researches and studies must be supervised and permitted by a (scientific /official) committee or authority.
  • Follow standard and clear procedures in protecting patients and receiving their complains and opinions while conducting a study or a research.
  • Ensure the patient’s right to quit without affecting his/her right to be treated.
9/ Organ and Tissues Donation Policies and Procedures:
  • Legal procedures of donation.
  • List of donation approved organs and tissues.
  • Donor requirements.
  • Receiver requirements.
  • Donation requirement.
10/ Health Insurance and Financial Policy: The patient and his/her family are entitle to:
  • The patient has the right to know in advance the expected cost of treatment.
  • The patient has the right to know all about health insurance coverage limits.
  • The patient has the right to know all about the treatment cost regardless of who will pay for it.

11/ Clear and Comprehensive Declaration Forms: The patient and his/her family are entitle to:

  • Provide a list of interventions that requires separate declaration like: surgeries, anesthesia, blood transfusions, interventions and risky treatments such as radiation, chemical and electrical therapies.
  • Inform the patient or his/her legal guardian of the declaration information in an understandable clear language, in addition to clarify the expected negative and positive results to the patient consent or refusal.
  • Keep the declaration in the patient’s medical record.

12/ Complaints and Suggestions Policies and Procedures: The patient and his/her family are entitle to:

  • The patient has the right to file a verbal or a written complaint/suggestion, whether it is signed or not, to Patient Relations Directorate without affecting the provided service quality.
  • The patient has the right to file a complaint to different levels of the health facility.
  • Deal with the patient and his/her family complaint as soon as possible.
  • Inform the patient of the procedures and mechanisms adopted by the health facility to deal with complaints and suggestions in addition to the expected response time.
  • Inform the patient of any available information related to the complaint or suggestion.

Child Patient Rights:
In addition to the articles from 1 to 12, child patient is entitled to:

  • Examine the child by a specialized medical team.
  • Provide the health facility with specialized equipments and tools for children.
  • Have a special policy to protect children from all kinds of harm.
  • Provide appropriate environment for children during their treatment course in the health facility.
  • Assign a companion to the child in inpatient cases except in the ICU or the nursery according to the adopted procedures and regulations.
  • Have a special policy for injections and tests for children according to MOH circulars.
  • The medical team should report any violence against children to the concerned authority.
  • Avoid isolating the patient unless it's medically necessary.

Elderly Patient Rights:
In addition to the articles from 1 to 12, elderly patients are entitled to:

  • Meet their special needs in the health facility.
  • Provide nourishing meals for inpatients.
  • Provide needed health and treatment services to the patient.
  • Facilitate making appointments and having their medical reports in health facilities.

Psychiatric Patient Rights:
In addition to the articles from 1 to 12, psychiatric patients are entitle to:

  • Have a special policy to protect psychiatric patients from all kinds of harm.
  • Ensure the patient’s freedom of movement and shouldn’t isolate him/her unless it’s medically necessary.
  • Facilitate providing treatment services by allocating mental health clinics in the health facility.
  • Provide suitable education and rehabilitation methods for long-stay patients.

Special Needs Patient Rights:
In addition to the articles from 1 to 12, special needs patients are entitle to:

  • Respect the patient’s dignity, independency in addition to his/her personal decisions.
  • Provide the health facility with specialized equipments and tools for special needs patients.
  • Assist the patient in moving around in the health facility.
  • Have a special policy to protect special needs patients from all kinds of harm.
  • Provide the health facility with suitable aisles and bathrooms.
  • Allocate parking spaces for special needs patients.

Companion’s Rights: Companions are entitle to:

  • Have clear policies in the health facility regarding patient companions.
  • Provide adequate nutrition.
  • Provide mattresses or chairs that are used according to the adopted regulations in the health facility.
  • Issue a Companion Card for the companion.

Visitor’s Rights: Visitors are entitle to:

  • Have suitable visiting hours.
  • Have clear policies in the health facility in order to deal with visitations in exceptional cases.
  • Clarify visiting hours in addition to the minimum age for visiting according to MOH regulations.

2) Patient, Family and Visitor’s Rights

Patient and Family Responsibilities:
The patient and his/her family (including the companions) are responsible for:

  • Preserving the properties of the health facility and others.
  • Using the facilities and equipments in the health facilities safely and correctly.
  • Following the rules and instructions:
    • Presenting personal identification.
    • Providing complete and accurate information about the patient’s personal and medical information.
    • Informing the health care providers of the surgeries he/she went through in addition to the other health facilities he went to.
    • Reporting any changes in the patient’s health.
    • Notifying the physician about lack of understanding the treatment plan and interventions.
    • Providing accurate and complete information about the patient’s health insurance.
    • Ensuring that financial obligations due for the health facility are fulfilled promptly.
    • Following the recommended treatment plan, where the patient or his/her legal guardian is responsible for his/her actions and the consequences in case he/she refused treatment.
  • Treating all personnel, patients and visitors with courtesy, and respect.
  • Following the general rules in addition to respecting others cultural, spiritual and personal values and beliefs.
  • Respecting the privacy of others.
  • Following health facility regulations and instructions.
  • Observing safety and security regulations in the health facility.
  • Keeping appointments and notifying the health facility when the patient is unable to do so for any reason.
  • Implementing the health facility’s transfer or discharge decisions.
  • Adopting No-smoking policy in the health facility except in specialized places for smoking.

Visitor’s Responsibilities:
The visitor is responsible for:

  • Adhering to the visiting hours and not to bring forbidden items.
  • Keeping the health facility clean and not disturbing others.
  • Treating all personnel and other patients with courtesy, and respect.
  • Following the general rules in addition to respecting others cultural, spiritual and personal values and beliefs.
  • Respecting the privacy of others.
  • Following health facility regulations and instructions.
  • Observing safety and security regulations in the health facility.
 
Accreditation:
Prepared by:
General Directorate of Patient Relations Program
Organizational Manual Preparation Team
Prepared on: 2/10/1431 Reviewed on: 2/2/1433
Reviewed and Verified by:
Directorate of Legal Affairs
Accredited by:
Dr. Abdul Aziz Abdul Muhsin AL Dkheil
General Supervisor of General Directorate of Patient Relations Program
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Last Update 22 April 2011 03:24 PM
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