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Hospitals have many functions to perform, including the enhancement of health status, health promotion, and the prevention and treatment of injury and disease; the immediate and ongoing care and rehabilitation of patients; the education of health professionals, patients, and the community; and research.

All of these activities must be conducted with an overriding concern for the values and dignity of patients.

This Charter supports safe, effective and quality care by setting out the rights of patients seeking healthcare at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH).

Accordingly, in this Charter the word “Hospital” means The Queen Elizabeth Hospital and “patient” means any person attending the hospital for in-patient or out-patient care.

The Charter is based on eight (8) rights:

Access To Care:
Equity of access to public healthcare

A patient is entitled to:

  1. Equal and timely access to health care, staff and facilities at the Hospital regardless of their age, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, class, political or other affiliations.
  2. Make decisions about the plan of care prior to and during the course of treatment, which may involve a re-classification of patient status as public or private.
  3. Refuse a recommended treatment or plan of care to the extent permitted by law and Hospital policy and to be informed of the medical consequences of this action.
  4. Other appropriate care and services that the Hospital provides or referral to another facility and should be notified of any policy that might affect patient choice within the institution.
  5. Expect reasonable continuity of care when appropriate.
  6. Be informed by physicians and other caregivers of available and realistic patient care options when hospital care is no longer appropriate.

Respect, dignity and consideration

There must be mutual respect, dignity and consideration between a patient and a health care provider. This should be at all stages of care and treatment.

A patient is entitled to:

  1. Care provided in a manner that is respectful of a person’s culture, beliefs, values and other personal characteristics including age and gender.
  2. Cultural and religious expression by being allowed to wear, use or have access to modes of dress and personal grooming, including symbols, provided that they are legal, not offensive to the rights of others and do not breach the codes of hygiene and safety in the health care setting of the hospital.

Privacy & Confidentiality:
Ensuring personal information is secure.

A patient is entitled to:

  1. Every consideration of privacy. Case discussion, consultation, examination, and treatment should be conducted so as to protect each patient’s privacy.
  2. Expect that all communications and records pertaining to his/her care will be treated as confidential by the Hospital, except in cases such as suspected abuse and public health hazards when reporting is permitted or required by law.
  3. Expect that the Hospital will emphasize the confidentiality of patient information when it releases it to any other parties entitled to review the information in these records.

Being informed about services, treatment and care

A patient is entitled to information:

  1. About the Hospital’s policies and practices that relate to patient care, treatment, and responsibilities.
  2. Explaining the difference between accessing the Hospital’s services as a public or a private patient.
  3. About the Hospital’s charges for services and available payment methods.
  4. Regarding their medical condition, and have that information provided in a form that they or their authorized agent or representative can understand.
  5. About themselves provided for their use, whether it is to be used for medical or legal purposes. The information should include the opinion of the physician in charge in relation to the diagnosis, prognosis and the advised treatment. This information should be made available in an appropriate time.
  6. Relating to the specific procedures and/or proposed treatments, the risks involved, the possible length of recuperation, and the medically reasonable alternatives and their accompanying risks and benefits.

Informed decision making and informed choices

A patient is entitled to:

  1. Being informed about and participating in decisions about their care.
  2. Express verbally, non-verbally or in writing their consent prior to all invasive procedures, investigation, or treatments, after receiving the appropriate information.
  3. Consent or decline to participate in proposed research studies or human experimentation affecting care and treatment or requiring direct patient involvement, and to have those studies fully explained prior to participation;
  4. Withdraw consent or decline to participate in research or experimentation and still receive the most effective care that the Hospital can otherwise provide.
  5. Refuse medical treatment and medication, and be informed of the potential medical consequences of such refusal.
  6. Request their treating physician to arrange a second opinion either from a specialist or another physician, internal or external to the Hospital.
  7. Make alternative arrangements to be seen by a practitioner within the specialty in accordance with Hospital policy. A patient should not be referred to someone they do not
    wish to see.

Protection From Abandonment of Care

A patient is entitled to:

  1. Care by a medical practitioner that shall not be discontinued unless clear arrangements have been put in place for continued medical management.

Commenting on care and having concerns addressed

A patient is entitled to:

  1. Information about available resources for resolving disputes, grievances and conflicts
  2. Bring to the attention of the Hospital’s Chief Executive Officer, any grievances and criticisms and shall be protected from discrimination or limitation of access to healthcare as a consequence of any such complaint

Safety & Security:
Promoting safe and secure care

A patient is entitled to:

  1. Being protected at the Hospital from physical, verbal and mental abuse.
  2. Have their information kept secure so that unauthorized persons cannot have access to the records of patients
  3. Know the identity and roles of any healthcare staff at the Hospital, and all who are involved directly or indirectly in their care
  4. Convalesce in as safe and clean environment as possible, and have personal hygiene and grooming needs met to maintain and enhance a feeling of dignity and self-esteem.
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