This is in relation to a couple of articles that have been reported in the newspapers last week in Chennai, about 16 government health care workers who tested positive out of 594 employees in the government general hospital with Hepatitis in the city, which is around 2% of the health care workers. The client load in this hospital per day is around 10,000 patients.
I would like to point out that this hospital has never discriminated against positive people, not that I know of.
This brought in focus was how, many health care settings are afraid to treat 0.9% of the HIV positive people in our country while we, (any one of us could be patients) should not worry about 2% of our health care workers who have Hepatitis....
One of the issues raised here is relating to patient's rights in a public/ private heath care setting:
1. How and where should patients report in case confidentiality is breached - their details are informed to parents, family etc?
2. What should we do to ensure that we do not get any infection- hepatitis or HIV through a health care setting? What are some of the questions we must ask our doctor/ nurse or anyone who is conducting any invasive procedures?
3. If we get infected by any chance, and we know that it is from the health care setting, what is the right of the patient?
4. How can we promote patient rights? Is it possible for any organisation/ SACS to print patient rights and ensure it is put up as posters in hospitals?
5. What is the legal right of a patient if the doctor is refusing to treat a patient with HIV or any other infectious disease? Who should we approach if it is a public/ private health care setting? How can a patient prove that there is discrimination?