Thursday, March 27, 2008

Right to ( Health ) Information !

The Right to Information Act has been one of the most powerful pieces of legislation the Indian government has passed. It is designed to ensure transparency in the working of public organisations and allows citizens access to information about what government bodies are doing - and not doing !

Just like we have a Right to Information Act to help citizens get better governance, I also think we need a Right to Health Information Act, to help patients to get access to their own medical records. Sometimes these are locked up and hidden away from patients - so that doctors and hospitals block patient access to something as basic as to what their diagnosis is and what treatment is being given for this.

Patients - and their family members need to know that they have a legal right to access their own records - and no one can refuse to share this with them. Unfortunately, the big hospitals often act as bullies, and refuse to provide this basic documentation to patients.

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