Days after Busiki county MP, Paul Akamba secured leave from Parliament to begin preparing the Patient’s Rights and Responsibilities Bill, he has begun rallying support for the Bill among relevant stakeholders.
The proposed law seeks to among other things create a regulatory framework that safeguards patients’ rights and to enable them take charge of their health. It will also propel health workers to respect patients’ rights to treatment, privacy, referrals, informed consent and information.
During a press conference on Friday, Akamba who moved the Bill in Parliament was joined by Ngora county MP, David Abala, and the Executive Director of Uganda National Health Consumers Organisation (UNHCO), Robinah Kaitiritimba.
Together, they appealed to stakeholders in the health sector as well as civil society and religious leaders to throw their weight behind the Bill.
Quoting the 2013 African Journal of Primary Health Care and Family Medicine on Uganda’s awareness and responsiveness to patients’ rights, they said 36.5% of patients were found to have faced a challenge related to their rights whilst seeking health care.
Furthermore, 79% of the patients who faced such challenges never attempted to demand for their rights. The study also indicated that 81.5% of the patients and 69.4% of the health worked had never heard of the Uganda Patients Charter.
“Protecting Patients from the above is long overdue yet all potential victims but we continue to watch without action,” a statement read by Robinah Kaitiritimba stated.
“This Patient’s Rights and Responsibilities Bill makes lawful patients’ responsibilities as well as making patients take charge of their health and health workers to respect patients’ rights to treatment, privacy, referrals, informed consent and information,” she added.
They say that once enacted into law, the Act will promote mutual accountability, quality of care and universal health care.
Akamba now has a period of 45 days since he took leave to table the Bill before Parliament for debate.