PATIENT’S RIGHTS AND PRIVACY POLICY

Hospitals are places of hope, of second chances and recovery, they can also be the cause of severe anxiety and financial burden for many. When a loved one is seriously ill or injured, we tend to completely trust a hospital and its doctors, without so much as a shadow of a doubt. We understand that everyone has some rights and so do the patients.
 
1. Right to Information
 
We attempt to provide adequate information about your illness, its diagnosis (provisional or confirmed, as it may be), proposed investigation and possible complications to the patient or his confident relative or caretaker in a simple easy to understand language. Patient has right to know the identity and professional status of the doctor, his qualifications, trainings and experience. Patient has right to information regarding costs of treatment in writing.
 
2. Right to records and reports
 
Patients have the right to access the originals or copies of case papers and investigation reports and we provide them as soon as possible. The hospital is responsible for providing a discharge summary or a death summary, in the case of a death, to the caretakers or kin of the patient with original copies of investigations.
 
3. Right to emergency medical care
 
In an emergency situation, you can avail medical care in any government or private hospital. Under Article 21 of the Constitution, which ensures that every person has the right to life and personal liberty. It is to be understood that at SMC there is no ambulance and limited emergency facilities hence in case of emergency patient can be referred to another hospital and will be required to go there immediately with patient’s own arrangement. Similarly in emergency patient should contact nearest doctor or hospital immediately as time can important.
 
4. Right to informed consent
 
For treatments other than the routing a patient has right to be explained the risks, consequences and procedure of the investigation or treatment in detail and a simple language before providing the protocol consent form to the patient or to the responsible caretaker. We always provide a copy of the consent form to the patient – please ask if you have not received it.
 
5. Right to confidentiality, human dignity and privacy
 
We respect the right of confidentiality and hold information about the illness and treatment plan for the patient in strict confidentiality from everyone except the patient and their caretakers and do not disclose the same without professional secrecy act waiver permission of the patient or his attendant. However, in exceptional situations where sharing this information is “in the interest of the patient or for protecting others due to public health considerations or where required by law.” In the case of a female patient, we always have and patient has the right to demand the presence of another woman if the medical practitioner checking or treating her is male. There may be a rare exception in emergent situations. Having said this, the hospital is responsible for upholding the dignity of every patient, irrespective of their gender.
 
6. Right to non-discrimination
 
We have no discrimination based on illness, condition, HIV status or on their gender, age, religion, caste, ethnicity, sexual orientation, linguistic or geographical or social origins.
 
7. Right to safety and quality care according to standards
 
Here is a brief list of provisions that come under the list of quality care standards-
  • Safety and security.
  • Cleanliness, infection control measures and sanitation facilities and safe drinking water.
  • Healthcare that abides by the latest standards, norms and guidelines.
  • To be attended to, treated and cared for in a professional manner and with the principles of medical ethics.
  • Right to seek redressal by patient or caretakers.
8. Right to choose alternative treatment options if available
 
Hospital staff and doctors are responsible for clarifying all treatment options to the patient/caretakers. After a thorough study of their choices, the patient/caretakers can choose to opt for a treatment that may or may not be the doctor’s primary recommendation. This also means that once the patient/caretakers choose this alternative treatment, they will shoulder the responsibility of its consequences.
 
9. Right to a second opinion
 
We respect your decision if you choose to seek a second opinion from a doctor/hospital of your choice. We will readily hand over all record documents and other relevant information should you choose to approach a different doctor. In case you choose to come back to us after getting your second opinion, we will always welcome you and not compromise on the quality of healthcare services.
 
10. Right to transparency in rates, and care.
 
The patient has the right to have a written account of the costs they will have to bear for the treatment they are receiving. We prominently display the treatment costs. Patients have the right to get medicines, devices and implants at rates decided by the
 
11. Right to choose the source for obtaining medicines or tests
 
As a patient or a caretaker, you have the right to choose generic or any equivalent brand from any chemist shop. Patients also have the right of getting an investigation procedure (like bold / urine tests, ECG, TMT, Echocardiography, X-rays, Ultrasound scan etc) from any diagnostic centre or laboratory.
 
12. Right to proper referral and transfer free from perverse commercial influences
 
If a patient must be transferred from one healthcare centre to another, a proper and detailed justification must be given to them/caretakers along with various options of the new healthcare centre. They must also be given a list of treatments/medicines that need to be continued after the transfer. This step cannot be taken unless the patient or their caretaker accept it. These decisions are not influenced by reasons like “kickbacks, commissions, incentives, or other perverse business practices.”
 
13. Right to protection for patients involved in clinical trials
 
“All clinical trials as per law must be conducted in compliance with the protocols and Good Clinical Practice Guidelines issued by Services, Govt. of India as well as all applicable statutory provisions of Amended Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Rules, 1945 Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation, Directorate General of Health.” These points include consent by the patient, written prescription of drugs or intervention, privacy etc. You have right to read in detail about the guidelines.
 
14. Right to protection of participants involved in biomedical and health research
 
In case a patient is involved in a biomedical or health research procedure, their consent needs to be taken in a written format. Their right to dignity, privacy and confidentiality needs to be upheld even during the research. If the participant suffers direct physical, psychological, social, legal or economic harm, they are eligible for financial or other assistance by the hospital. Whatever benefits the hospital gets from the research must be made available to relevant individuals, communities and the general population.
 
15. Right to be discharged / receive body of a deceased person
 
A patient has the right to be discharged and cannot be detained in a hospital, on procedural grounds such as dispute in payment of hospital charges. Similarly, caretakers have the right to the dead body of a patient who had been treated in a hospital, and the dead body cannot be detailed on procedural grounds, including non-payment/dispute regarding payment of hospital charges against wishes of the caretakers.
 
16. Right to Patient Education
 
We acknowledge the right to be informed in the language that the patient/caretaker understands.
  • Major facts about their condition
  • Healthy living practices
  • Their rights and responsibilities
  • How to seek redressal of grievances
17. Right to be heard and seek redressal
 
Every patient has the right to address his grievances and give feedback about the healthcare and treatment they received at the hospital or from a particular doctor. Patients and caregivers have the right to seek redressal in case they are aggrieved, on account of infringement of any of the above-mentioned rights in this charter. This may be done by lodging a complaint with an official designated for this purpose by the hospital/healthcare provider and further with an official mechanism constituted by the government such as Patients’ rights Tribunal Forum or Clinical establishments regulatory authority as the case may be.
 
18. Facilities limitation.
 
No hospital can have each and every facility and neither does SMC. Opting for treatment is after understanding the indoor, emergency, investigations facilities, staff, etc. limitations hence this is not deficiency of service and patient will not blame for this.
 
19. Decision in Good faith:
 
Doctor/s may take any decision in good faith including those not related to the ailment being treated if in their opinion it is in patient’s best medical interest and they shall not be liable for it.
 
20. Guarantee
 
It is said “doctors treat and God cures” and physicians can only try to the best of their ability. It may also be noted that guarantee of any treatment result is not permitted under law and is unethical and illegal, hence no guarantee or promise is given of any improvement or that patient will not get pain, fatality or other problems during/after treatment. There will be no refund of charges paid if there is no improvement.
 
21. Indemnity.
 
As treatment is done in good faith the patient or his/her attendant/s or anyone else will not hold the treatment, treatment providers and equipment manufacturers or suppliers responsible for any effects or consequences of the disease or its treatment at any time - now or anytime in future. For anything not mentioned in this agreement and in any circumstance whatsoever the maximum liability of the treating doctor/s is mutually agreed and accepted to be not more than the payment made by the patient.
 
22. Disputes
 
claims or litigations if any from either side are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of courts, consumer forum, arbitration etc. at Ludhiana only and governed exclusively by the law of the land i.e. India.
 
23. Changes to the privacy policy
 
We may update this Privacy Policy from time to time with or without advance notice.