What rights does the patient have regarding the information they receive?

  • Right to have the information sufficient, timely, truthful, understandable, visually, verbally or in writing, regarding: health care or types of health actions offered or available to providers; mechanisms to access and their value; the social security conditions required for their attention, provisions and obligations of their internal regulations and ways of making comments, acknowledgments, claims and suggestions.
  • Providers must post and keep in a public and visible place, a letter of rights and duties of people in relation to health care.
  • People have the right for members of the health team to have a visible personal identification with the role they perform, as well as to know who authorizes and carries out their diagnoses and treatments.
  • Everyone has the right to be informed, in a timely and understandable way, about: their health status, the possible diagnosis of their disease, the treatment alternatives available and the risks that this may represent, as well as the expected prognosis, and of the foreseeable postoperative process when appropriate, according to their age and personal and emotional condition. If the condition of the person, in the opinion of the doctor, does not allow her to receive such information, it must be delivered to the legal representative or the person under whose care she is. In case of urgent or emergency care, the patient will receive the information when the doctor determines that he or she is in a position to receive it.

What information must the treating physician provide after a hospitalization?
Every person shall have the right to receive, from the treating physician, a legible report that, at least, must contain: identification of the person and the professional who acted as main treating physician, the period of treatment; Comprehensive information on the diagnosis of admission and discharge, with their respective dates, and the most relevant results of examinations and procedures carried out that are pertinent to the diagnosis and indications to follow, and a list of medications and doses supplied during treatment and of those prescribed in the medical prescription.

Likewise, the provider must deliver in writing the information on the fees and collection procedures. Everyone also has the right to receive a certificate proving their health status and medical license, if applicable.

Is the content of the clinical record public?
No, all the information that arises from the clinical file, from the studies and other documents where the procedures and treatments to which the people were subjected are recorded, is considered sensitive data and therefore has the quality of reserved.

Those not directly related to the care will not have access to the information.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, the following may have access to the content of the file or part of it: the patient or her legal representative, another person authorized by the owner by means of a simple power of attorney and the courts provided that the information contained is and lawyers, with the prior authorization of the judge when the information relates to the causes they are leading.

Treatments and rights

Can a person refuse treatment?
Everyone has the right to grant or deny their will to undergo any procedure or treatment to artificially prolong their life, but with certain limitations: refusal of treatments that may involve the artificial acceleration of death, euthanasia or assisting suicide.

Are there any special rights for terminally ill people?
Every person in a terminal state shall have the right to live with dignity until the moment of death.

What are ethics committees?
There should be ethics committees in the establishments that provide closed care, whether they are self-managed in a network, experimental, highly complex and specialty institutes.

By means of a regulation issued through the Ministry of Health , the necessary norms will be established for the creation, periodic operation and control of the ethics committees, and the mechanisms that will allow the establishments to access the ethics committees of their choice, in the event that do not have or are not in a position to constitute one.

The ethics committees will analyze the cases in which the treating physicians have doubts about the competence of the person, or consider that the decision expressed by the person or their legal representatives to reject treatment exposes them to serious damage to their health or risk of death. .

The patient, their legal representative or anyone on behalf of the patient can appeal to the Court of Appeals of the domicile if they do not agree with the recommendation of the ethics committee.

What rights do people with mental or intellectual disabilities have?
The treating professional must inform the legal representative of the patient or the person under whose care they are of the medical reasons that justify not delivering the information to the patient or the content of the file when that corresponds.

In the case of invasive and irreversible treatments, the doctor must have the favorable report of the ethics committee of the establishment.

In addition, it is provided that involuntary hospitalizations must be reported to the Regional Ministry of Health and the Regional Commission for the Protection of the Rights of Persons with Mental Illness.

Can people consult and claim?
Everyone has the right to make inquiries and claims that they deem pertinent, regarding the health care received. Likewise, users may express in writing their suggestions and opinions regarding such care. The Ministry of Health will regulate the procedures for users to exercise their rights. Likewise, it must ensure the presence of users in the ethics committees.

What does the law say about drugs and supplies?
Institutional, public and private providers will maintain an updated database and other freely accessible records, with information that contains the prices of benefits, supplies and medicines that they charge for personal care. People have the right to receive an updated and detailed account of the expenses they have incurred in their care.

Duties of patients

What are the duties of patients?

  • Respect the internal regulations of the establishment, which is extended to their representatives, family members and visitors.
  • Seek information about the operation of the establishment and the established consultation and complaint procedures.
  • Take care of the facilities and equipment that the provider keeps available.
  • Treat the members of the health team with respect. The same obligation corresponds to the family members, legal representatives and other persons who accompany or visit them.
  • Both the person requesting health care, as well as their relatives or legal representatives, must collaborate with the members of the health team that attends them, providing the necessary information for treatment.

How is compliance with the law ensured?
It can be claimed before the institutional provider, who must have personnel specially qualified for this purpose and with a system of registration and written response to the complaints raised. If the person is not satisfied, they may appeal to the Superintendency of Health or request a mediation procedure.


by Abdullah Sam
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