Health Consumers Push For Patients’ Rights Law
The Uganda National Health Consumers ‘Organization together with the mover of the Patients’ Rights and Responsibilities bill 2019 Paul Akamba the Busiki County MP has tasked the parliamentary committee of health to urgently Scrutinize the Bill to end the vice of detention of patients who fail to meet hospital bills.
While presenting the bill which seeks among others to empower patients to participate in the process of seeking or receiving health care with ethics and dignity, the Busiki county MP Paul Akamba justified the necessity of the Bill to abolish the practice of detaining patients and dead bodies who fail to meet hospital bills.
The bill proposes that hospitals should recover unpaid medical Bill from the estate of the dead patients or from their guarantors instead of detaining patients.
The Patients Rights and Responsibilities Bill of 2019 has also seeks patients who die or suffer impairment during clinical trials should be compensated.
However, this proposal has faced resistance from committee members led by chairperson Dr. Charles Ayume who anticipate that it will discourage research. They also believe that the consent form which patients sign before clinical trials is enough.
The bill also establishes a clear procedure of referring patients without violating their rights and worsening their health situation.
The Bill also seeks to establish a complaint and appeal mechanism, the right to informed consent, confidentiality and privacy, and a right to medical information including a copy of the patient’s medical records.