Public understanding on patient’s charter deepened

Understanding the Patient’s Charter is key to creating a cordial relationship between clients and health service providers for improved quality of healthcare in communities, WaterAid Ghana, a Non- Governmental Organisation, has said.

It said when patients and healthcare staff understood their rights and responsibilities in the delivery of healthcare services, there would be understanding and appreciation of collective resolve to achieve satisfactory service at healthcare facilities.

It would also create a well-coordinated system to help in disease prevention and control at the healthcare facilities.

Mr Gilbert Asante, the Programme Officer in charge of Policy, WaterAid Ghana, made these remarks at Paga in the Kassena-Nankana West District of the Upper East Region, at a training of healthcare staff and community members on the Patient’s Charter.

It was part of the implementation of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Healthcare Facilities project being carried out in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service.

The Patient’s Charter is a document that outlines the rights and responsibilities of the patients and the responsibilities of the healthcare providers to ensure the provision of quality healthcare.

The document developed was to empower the clients to demand information on their health status and other relevant services and the obligation to provide accurate information to the healthcare providers for appropriate care.

Mr Asante noted that there had been complaints of poor attitude of some healthcare workers at the various health facilities which had negative effects on quality of health services provided with many clients leaving the facilities unsatisfied.

He attributed the challenge to lack of understanding of the Patient’s Charter which outlined the rights and responsibilities of patients and health staff, taking into consideration the rules and regulations of the institutions, to ensure satisfactory service delivery.

“There is a gap, where some citizens are complaining that some healthcare workers do not open to them when they visit the facilities. Sometimes, it is real where the patient is sick and wants to know what is wrong with him or her and it becomes a challenge.

“For we think that once you are the one who is sick and has visited the facility you should be allowed to have access to your information so that you can also understand what is wrong with you, but this information is lacking in the system,” he said.

Mr Edward Agongo, Kassena-Nankana West District Quality Improvement Focal Person, Ghana Health Service, said although the Patient’s Charter had been in existence for long, clients and some healthcare workers were not abreast with its provisions.

He said apart from the patient having the right to demand quality healthcare, it was also the responsibility of the same patient to provide critical information to help the health staff provide the needed services.

Mr Agongo who is also the District Nutrition Officer, explained that healthcare providers needed to create an enabling environment to ensure that the patient’s demands were met to encourage him or her to provide the required information.

“As healthcare providers, we need to have a refresher on the patient’s charter so that when we are rendering services, we are careful about the rights of patients because there are legal issues where clients can take providers on because their rights have been trampled upon,” he added.

Source: By GNA


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