European Patients’ Rights Day, TODAY, April 18

Patients claim their right to participate in Decision about their Health

Patients have the right to participate in making decisions about their health, either through patient organizations in public policies that affect them or through the sharing of information and consensus with their doctor, for example, about what treatment to follow. This is one of the main proposals of the Platform of Patient Organizations on the occasion of the European Day of Patients’ Rights 2018.

To achieve this level of participation, patients must advance in the rights of information, the right of access and the right of free choice, which are included in the European Charter of Patients’ Rights. This declaration aims to standardize the guarantees for patients throughout the European Union, safeguard a “high degree of protection of human health” (Article 35 of the Letter of Fundamental Rights) and ensure the high quality of the services provided by the different national health systems.

The document summarizes in 14  rights that must be protected throughout the territory of the European Union.

“Everyone has the right to access the health services they require. Health services must guarantee equivalent access for all, without discrimination due to financial resources, place of residence, type of illness or time of access to services. “

These rights include access to health care in an equitable way for all, one of the workhorses of the POP in Spain, with proposals to reduce the differences in health care between Autonomous Communities and that every person, independently from their community of origin, can access the health system anywhere in the country.

The European Letter of Patients’ Rights also includes as a right the limitation of waiting times for adequate health care.

“Everyone has the right to access all kinds of information about their health status, health services and how to use them, as well as everything that scientific research and technological innovation can provide.”

Another of the rights that should be highlighted is the access to information about one’s own health status: from the POP it is defended that the clinical information is Patient´s property and that it should be accessible at any point of the National Health System.

“Everyone has the right to choose freely between different treatment procedures and providers based on adequate information.”

Patients must actively participate in decisions about the treatments to be followed, since adherence to this treatment depends to a great extent on this: the involvement as patients can determine compliance or not and, therefore, its effectiveness.

For more information, please visit the POP website:

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