The Charter of Patient Rights is a document prepared by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) that enumerates 17 rights that patients should be entitled to. These rights are a compilation of rights that have been guaranteed by various statutes, namely:
- The Constitution of India, 1950 1
- Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002
- Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940
- Clinical Establishment(Registration and Regulation) Act, 2010
The benefit of such compilation is that patients and the public in India can see, understand and refer to the rights that they are entitled to in one coherent document. The objectives of this charter are:
- Sensitization of patients about their rights for safe, dignified, and reasonably priced treatment.
- To guide and hold accountable healthcare providers.
- To guide the Union and State governments when making policies to promote better healthcare for the country.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare adopted this Charter and announced plans for its implementation. However, no progress has been made on this. The Charter assumes importance because India does not have a dedicated regulator for patients’ rights violations.
- Article 14, 17, 19, 21 and Directive Principles of State Policy under Article 38, 47 of the Constitution of India,1950