Many South Africans are not aware of their right to proper healthcare in this country. While other human rights are enjoying a lot of attention, the right of access to health care services and patient rights in South Africa are often overlooked.
Everyone has the right to a healthy and safe environment that will ensure their physical and mental health or well-being, including adequate water supply, sanitation and waste disposal as well as protection from all forms of environmental danger.
Patient rights in South Africa include the right to participate in the development of health policies and everyone has the right to participate in decision-making on matters affecting their health. Read here how HP recently won a patent case from itweb.co.za.
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A member of a health insurance or medical aid scheme is entitled to information about that insurance or medical aid scheme and to challenge, where necessary, the decisions of such health insurance or medical aid scheme relating to the member.
Patient rights in South Africa include:
Everyone has the right to know the person that is providing the health care and therefore must be attended to by clearly identified health care providers.
Information concerning one’s health, including information concerning treatment may only be disclosed with informed consent, except when required in terms of any law or an order of the court.
Everyone has the right to be given full and accurate information about the nature of one’s illness, for one to make a decision that affects any one of these elements.
While patient rights in South Africa are important, patient responsibilities are also vital. These include:
To advise the health care providers on his wishes with regard to his death.
To know his local health services and what they offer.
To provide health care providers with the relevant and accurate information for diagnostic, treatment, rehabilitation or counselling purposes.
To respect the rights of other patients and health providers.