Patient charter unveiled to improve health services
In an effort to deliver quality health care to patients in the public and private health sector a document outlining expectations from service providers and patients was launched this week.
The revised version of the Ministry of Health and Social Services’ patient charter will be availed at health facilities countrywide.
The document will also be available in Braille and vernacular languages for all Namibians to understand what their rights and responsibilities pertaining to access to health care are.
Patients have the right to dignity, respect, safe and effective services, communication and information, privacy and confidentiality, according to information contained in the patient charter.
Ways in which patients and the community can assist the health ministry to deliver quality services include asking health care professionals how long they may have to wait before receiving certain kinds of appointments, tests or treatments.
Officially announcing the availability of the revised document on Monday, the Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Bernard Haufiku, said: “The patient charter we are launching today represents our commitment to service provision to our clients, who are the patients and their families.”
In order for this to be successful, the ministry would depend on the support and commitment of the community, remarked the minister. “Through this charter we aim to inform and educate the community to take care of their own health,” added Haufiku.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Social Services Andreas Mwoombola explained that the charter would be republished in the form of pamphlets for patients to refer to should they not receive good services at health facilities. He added that the health ministry would make it a point to educate the public on the patient charter and explain terms such as respect, confidentiality and impartiality, among others. The document is not the first of its kind as it has been revised to address current problems within the health sector.