Health care can only be effective with collaboration between patients, physicians and other health care professionals. To ensure optimum patient care, open and honest communication with respect for personal and professional values must always be maintained.
The following guidelines have been adapted from the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Bill of Rights for the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital with the hope that it will enhance understanding of and respect for the responsibilities of our patients, their families and staff at the hospital.
As a patient using the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital you have the right, consistent with the laws of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, to:
- Receive health care on the basis of clinical need regardless of ability to pay.
- Be cared for with respect and dignity in a clean, safe and smoke free environment.
- Be informed of the name of the senior physician who will be in charge of your care.
- Know the identity of physicians, nurses and others involved in your care.
- Ask for and receive complete and understandable information about your diagnosis, treatment and prognosis.
- Discuss and request all information before consenting to specific procedures and treatments, knowing the risk/s involved, possible length of recuperation and any medically reasonable alternatives, benefits and long-term financial implications.
- Refuse treatment and be told what effect this may have on your health, which shall be recorded in your medical records.
- Refuse to take part in any research or medical students training and only to participate after receiving a full explanation.
- Privacy and confidentiality of illness and records, and documentation of care except in cases of suspected abuse, legal issues and health hazards when reporting is required by law.
- Participate in all decisions about your treatment and discharge from the hospital and be given a discharge letter.
- Be referred when medically indicated or upon request to another facility.
- Review your medical records without charge and obtain a copy of your medical record at the stipulated cost.
- Know the cost of your hospitalisation and receive an itemized bill and explanation of all charges.
- Provide information of past illnesses, hospitalisation, medications, and other health related matters.
- Be informed of and comply with the hospital’s policies and practices that relate to care, treatment and responsibilities.
- Recognise the impact of your lifestyle on your personal health.
- Complain without fear of reprisals about the care and services received.
In the event that a patient lacks the decision-making capacity, is legally incompetent or is a minor, these rights can be exercised on their behalf by a designated decision maker.