My rights as a patient
In our country, the rights of the patient are legally established. This concerns eight specific rights that healthcare providers must take into account.
As a patient you have eight rights that healthcare providers must take into account.
You can appoint one or more confidants to help you exercise your rights. If you are no longer able to exercise your rights yourself, your representative will do so on your behalf. Would you like to know more about patient rights? Please contact CM .
Right to free choice of healthcare provider
You can choose your healthcare provider yourself. In addition, you can always consult another healthcare provider, for example to ask for a second opinion. You always have the right to revise your choice.
Right to information about your health condition
The healthcare provider must provide you with all necessary information about your health condition and its likely evolution in a timely and understandable manner. If you wish, you may be assisted by a confidential counselor (e.g. family, friend). You can also request that the information is only communicated to that confidential counselor.
You also have the right not to be informed, unless this poses a serious harm to your health or that of others (e.g. if you have a contagious disease). If this is the case, the care provider must consult a colleague in advance and contact any confidential counselor.
The healthcare provider may exceptionally and temporarily refuse to provide information if he believes that this poses a serious threat to your health at that time. In that case, he must consult a colleague, record the reasons for his decision in your patient file and inform any confidant. Once the feared threat has been resolved, he must communicate the information.
Right to consent after information
No treatment can be started or continued without your verbal and unambiguous consent. A refusal or withdrawal of consent must always be respected. The healthcare provider must also inform you about the consequences of that refusal or withdrawal and propose possible alternatives or refer you to a colleague.
You have the right to change your decision at any time.
If you cannot express your decision (e.g. comatose state) and it is impossible to obtain the consent of your representative , the doctor must initiate all necessary treatments. When it is possible again, the right to information and the right to consent must be respected.
Right to quality service
You are entitled to the best possible care based on medical knowledge and available technology. The healthcare provider must provide care with respect for human dignity and with respect for the patient's autonomy . No distinction may be made on the basis of social class, nationality or income.
Does a healthcare provider refuse to care for you or interrupt treatment? They must then ensure that you continue to receive the best possible care and/or that the treatment continues (e.g. by referring you to a colleague).
Right to patient file
You have the right to a carefully maintained and safely stored patient file .
Every healthcare provider must create a file for every patient. This can be done electronically or on paper.
A well-known example of a patient file is the global medical file at your doctor. But your dentist, specialist, physiotherapist, pharmacist or nurse must also keep a file.
Your patient file does not only contain your medical data. Depending on your situation, it also includes, for example:
Right to protection of personal privacy
No information about your health condition may be communicated to others, unless the law explicitly provides for this (e.g. to protect public health in the event of a risk of infection).
Is this not required for your treatment? Then no one is allowed to be present during a treatment or examination without your permission.
Right to complaint mediation
Every hospital must have an ombudsman service. If you believe that one of your patient rights has not been respected, you can file a complaint with the competent ombudsman service.
If you have complaints about a healthcare provider in one of the following healthcare institutions, you can contact the local ombudsman services. You can find the list here :
- psychiatric hospital
- sheltered living initiative
- psychiatric care home
If you have complaints about a healthcare provider in one of the following (care) institutions, you can contact the federal ombudsman services 'Patient Rights'. You will find all contact details here.
- outpatient sector (the healthcare provider comes to the patient)
- residential care center (WZC)
- rest and care home (RVT)
Right to pain treatment
You are entitled to pain-relieving care, where the care provider pays attention to the pain and prevents, evaluates, treats and alleviates it.