The Hospital staff must always respect the personal opinion, the rights and values of hospitalized patients as well as the hospitalized patient and their escorts shall respect the rules and the hospital staff.
Our country, in 1992, imprints in a law (Law 2071/123/92/Article 47) the “Rights of Hospital Patient”. From April 2006 enshrines the rights of hospital patients by activating Law 2071/1992 (Government Gazette Sheet A 123) in an effort to protect the citizens together with providing better healthcare.
The hospital patient rights
- The patient has the right to access hospital services, most suitable for the nature of their disease.
- The patient has the right of care provisioning with due respect to the human dignity. This care includes not only the general practice of medicine and nursing, and paramedical services, but adequate accommodation, appropriate treatment and effective administrative and technical service.
- The patient has the right to consent or refuse any diagnostic or therapeutic operation to be performed on them. In case of a patient with partial or total mental incapacity, the exercise of this right is the person who legally acts on their behalf.
- The patient is entitled to request to be informed regarding their medical status.
- The patient’s interest is crucial and depends on the completeness and accuracy of the information provided to them. Patient information should allow them to have a full picture of the medical, social and economic aspects of their status and to take decisions by themselves or participate in decision making, which may prejudice their life later.
- The patient (or their representative in case of application of paragraph 3) has the right to be informed fully and in advance, about the risks that may arise or occur in connection with the application of unusual or experimental diagnostic and therapeutic acts. The application of such acts to the patient takes place only after their specific consent. This consent may be revoked by the patient at any time.
- The patient should feel completely free in their decision to accept or reject any cooperation with the purpose of research or education. The consent for any participation is their right and can be revoked at any time.
- The patient has the right, to the measure and the actual conditions possible, to protect their privacy. The confidentiality of the information and content of the documents concerning them, the dossier of medical notes and findings, must be guaranteed.
- The patient has the right to present or file protests and complaints and take knowledge on these actions and results.
Institutions for the protection of patients rights
In 1997, by Law 2519, the institutions for Patients Rights Protection are established and promotion and dissemination of the institution begins. According to this law, the Ministry of Health and Welfare constitutes:
- The Independent Patients Rights Protection Service, which reports directly to the Secretary General of the Ministry.
- The Patient Rights Protection Control Committee.
Both institutions have central monitoring and development responsibility of the institution.
Two years later, by Law 2716/99, the following bodies were created and starting operating in each hospital:
- Office of Communication with the Citizens.
- Citizen Advocacy Commission.
The active and responsible participation in the patient’s treatment process involves the following obligations:
- The patient is required to obey and implement the Hospital Regulation, where hospitalized. In particular, some of the basic provisions of the regulation are the following:
- No patient is allowed to smoke inside the hospital enclosure. If allowed by the attending physician, they may smoke in special designated areas of the hospital.
- No patient is allowed to gamble.
- No patient is allowed to make noise or to use of musical instruments in the hospital.
- No patient is allowed to use of alcoholic beverages.
- The patient is not allowed to enter the offices of physicians or other Hospital Services in auxiliary areas, where they have no mandate to, enter other wards, even in those with hospitalized infectious cases or critically ill or wherever aseptic conditions are kept.
- No patient is allowed to misbehave in the medical, nursing and other staff of the hospital.
- The patient is required to remain in the hospital for the duration of hospitalization, and only if special reasons impose temporary exit of it, may request permission from the Directing Doctor of the Clinic where hospitalized or their legal substitute, permitting their state of health. However, in case when the patient left the hospital without the permission of the Clinic, they shall be leaving on their own responsibility, then they will suffer legal penalties, i.e. the compulsory discharge from the hospital, a disciplinary discharge, and of course only in case in which the state of their health is not at any risk. For this reason, the patient, immediately after entering the hospital is obliged to hand over the exit clothing bearing with him, and any other personal item, to the wardrobe of the Clinic.
- The patient must, immediately after entering the hospital, declare to the Patient Traffic Department, through the Head of the Clinic where hospitalized, their insurance carrier, if they are insured, or that they will pay all hospitalization costs.
- The patient is obliged to implement the orders of doctors and faithfully perform their medication treatment.
- The patient must take the provided by the hospital food, prohibiting the intake of any other food offered by their relatives, to avoid deterioration of the diet, which is determined by the attending physician.
- The patient must, immediately after admission to the hospital, provide the responsible doctor of the clinic where they are hospitalized complete history of their illness.
- The patient is obliged, in case of general or partial anesthesia for surgery, to sign a written consent form for this purpose. In cases of mental incapacity or in emergency situations where the patient has no contact with the surroundings, the consent of the guardian or next of kin or the person who has custody is asked.