We advocate patient’s rights because we would like to defend the autonomy and dignity of patients not being infringed in the medical system which emphasizes professionalism. Patient’s rights are developed from the article 1, 3 and 25 of “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” by United Nations in 1948, and the “Rights of Patients in Europe” by the World Health Organization in 1993.
In Hong Kong, patient’s rights include:
- Right to Treatment
The right to receive medical advice and treatment which fully meets the currently accepted standards of care and quality
- Right to Information
The right to know available health care services and charges involved; right to be given a clear description of medical condition (diagnosis, prognosis, and of the treatment proposed including common risks and appropriate alternatives); objectives, risks, charges and alternatives of any investigation or treatment before accepting them; the names of any medication to be prescribed, and its normal actions and potential side-effects.
- Right to choices
The right to choose among possible ways of investigation or treatment; to accept or refuse any medication, investigation or treatment, and be informed of consequences; right to a second medical opinion; right to choose whether or not to take part in medical research programmes.
- Right to Privacy
The right to have your privacy, dignity and religious and cultural beliefs respected; right of access to medical information; right to keep medical condition confidential.
The right to make a complaint through channels provided for this purpose and to have any complaint dealt with promptly and fairly.
- The government’s allocation for public medical services is less than 2.5% of GDP, which is lower than the 7% of developed countries.
- There is a shortage of thousands of medical staff in Hong Kong
- About 40 serious medical accidents in public hospitals each yearAbout 2,000 complaints were received in public hospitals each year, and about 600 complaints were received from the Medical Council.