In the November 2014 issue of Al-Sehha Magazine, Iraqi Ministry of Health publication, USAID-funded Primary Health Care Project’s (PHCPI’s) role in the creation and direction of the National Patients’ Rights Charter was highlighted. (Note: Al-Sehha is Arabic word means Health in English). A summary of the article is below along with a picture of the cover page of the article for your read and reference. We will mail USAID office a hard copy of the Magazine.
Patients’ Rights and Obligations - Legislation, Practice and Expectations
According to the article, “Patients’ Rights first presented itself in the Iraqi Public Health Sector through the creative steps of USAID/PHCPI.” It stated that the aim of patients’ rights and obligations is to ensure the highest level of protection for the rights of all Iraqis benefitting from health services provided by the Ministry of Health (MOH).
USAID/PHCPI worked closely with the MOH to draft a National Patients’ Rights Charter for primary health care, closely tailored to the Iraqi context and including broad participation from the MOH, Ministry of Human Rights, Ministry of Higher Education, Universities and Medical Colleges, Parliament’s Health and Environment Committees, clinic managers and patients’ rights experts. This charter is designed to be easily accessible and comprehensible to the general public and emphasizes rights to services as well as preventive care and access to user-friendly health information and education. The Charter was introduced during a National Patients’ Rights Workshop facilitated by USAID/PHCPI and the MOH. The project worked with provincial and district partners to disseminate the Charter as a tool for increasing patients’ participation in the design and delivery of health services. The MoH included Patient’s Rights as one of the key elements of its National Health Strategy for 2015-2025.
Educating patients about their rights for ethical, equitable, and fair treatment by their health providers is as essential as educating the policy makers and health care providers about the care and respect users of the system are owed. By empowering patients to assert their rights, they can play an important role in elevating the standards of care they receive and help to improve the overall healthcare system.
The article concludes that the “ambitions of the Patients’ Rights Charter is to be included under National Laws and Legislations,” ensuring sustained widespread use and continued efforts towards providing Iraqis access to quality primary health care.