Patient rights

1. Patient rights (Sections 6 to 25 of the Health Act)

1.1 Right to health care
Each patient shall have a right, within the frameworks provided for by law, to appropriate and continuously accessible health care justified by his health condition, without any discrimination. The patient shall have a right to choose the healthcare provider of the level justified by his condition and, if requirements described in the Health Act are fulfilled, the attending physician. A patient may initiate that he be examined by a second physician regarding any diagnosis made or therapy recommended, or referral to another healthcare provider.

1.2 The right to human dignity
The patient’s human dignity shall be respected in the course of health care. Only the interventions necessary for the care of the patient may be performed. In the course of health care, a patient may be restricted in exercising his rights only for the period of time justified by his state of health, and to the extent and in the way, as provided for by law.

1.3 The right to have contact
The right to have contact may be exercised by the patient while respecting his fellow-patients’ rights, and ensuring the undisturbed delivery of patient care. In the course of his stay in an in-patient facility, the patient shall have a right to keep contact with other persons, either in writing or verbally and to receive visitors, and exclude persons defined by him from visiting. The patient may forbid that the fact of his treatment or any other information related to his treatment be disclosed to other persons. This may only be disregarded in the interest of his care, at the request of his next of kin or a person obliged to care for him.

1.4 The right to leave the healthcare facility
The patient shall have a right to leave the healthcare facility, unless he threatens the physical safety or health of others by doing so. This right may only be restricted in the cases defined by law.
The patient shall inform his attending physician of his intention to leave, who shall enter this fact in the patient’s medical record.

1.5 The right to information
The patient shall have a right to complete information provided in an individualised form with regard to his age, education, knowledge and mental state. The patient shall have a right to receive detailed information on: his state of health, including its medical evaluation, the recommended examinations and interventions, the possible benefits and risks of performing or not performing the recommended examinations and interventions, the planned dates, his right to decide, the possible alternative procedures, the course of care and the expected outcome, and the recommended lifestyle.

1.6 Right to self-determination
Within the framework of exercising the right of self-determination, the patient is free to decide whether he wishes to use health care services, and which procedures to consent to or to refuse.
The patient shall have a right to be involved in the decisions concerning his examination and treatment, and consent to the performance of any health care procedure granted on the basis of appropriate information, free from deceit, threats and pressure (hereinafter referred to as ‘informed consent’).
Invasive procedures shall be subject to the patient’s written consent, in all other cases verbal consent, or consent through implied behaviour is sufficient.
If a patient has no disposing capacity, the patient’s legal representative, in the absence thereof, persons defined by law shall be entitled to exercise the right of consent and refusal.
The patient’s consent shall be assumed to be given if the patient is unable to make a statement of consent as a result of his health condition and obtaining a declaration from the person defined by the Health Act would result in delay, and in the case of invasive interventions, if in addition to the delay resulting from looking for the above person and the delayed performance of the intervention would lead to a serious or lasting impairment of the patient’s state of health.
The patient’s consent shall not be required if failure to carry out the given intervention or action would seriously endanger the health or physical safety of others, or if the patient’s life is in direct danger.

1.7 The right to refuse healthcare
A patient with full disposing capacity shall have the right to refuse healthcare, unless its lack would endanger the lives or physical safety of others. He may request more information regarding its detailed criteria from the treating physician of the patient. A patient shall be required to refuse the provision of any care, the absence of which would be likely to result in serious or permanent impairment of his health, in a public deed or in a fully conclusive private deed. In the case of a patient with no disposing capacity or with limited disposing capacity, the legal representative may not refuse the provision of any healthcare, the absence of which would be likely to result in permanent disability or serious impairment of his health. A patient with full disposing capacity shall have the right to refuse future intervention, in case he would be in a condition not being able to make a statement due to lack of disposing capacity, which he can only do in a public deed. Refusal in case of incurable diseases has special requirements.

1.8 The right to become acquainted with the medical record
The patient shall have the right to be informed of the management of the data related to the medical treatment, become acquainted with the health care data relating to him, gain access to the medical record and to receive copies thereof at his own expense.

1.9 The right to professional secrecy
A patient shall have the right to have persons involved in his health care disclose his health care and personal data which they might learn in the course of delivering such care to those entitled thereto and to have them process such data confidentially.

2. Patient obligations (Sections 26 to 27 of the Health Act)
When using a health care service, the patient shall respect and observe the legal rules relating thereto and the institutional order.
If allowed by his state of health, a patient shall cooperate with the health care workers involved in his care according to his abilities and knowledge.
In the course of exercising their rights, the patient and his relatives shall respect the rights of other patients.
The exercise of the rights of a patient and his relatives may not violate the rights of health care workers stipulated by law.

3. Enforcement of patients’ rights
If a patient has a complaint regarding the in-patient health care or the enforcement of his rights, he may lodge his complaint in writing or verbally with the health service provider. He may initiate a complaint procedure according to Act XXIX of 2004 with the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of State. He may contact the Mediation Council operating with the Hungarian Chamber of Judicial Experts. To the patient advocate of the National Centre for Patients’ Rights and Documentation.

Regionally competent patient advocate at Optimum Eye Center:
Name: Gerőcs Katalin
Phone available during working hours: +36 20 4899-554
Email: gerocs.katalin@obdk.hu
Consulting hours Tuesdays from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Szent János Kórház és Észak-budai Egyesített Kórház (Szent János Hospital and Northern Buda United Hospitals)
Directorate building (Building 1)
H-1023 Budapest, Diós árok 1-3.

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This project is funded by the European Union and the Hungarian Government. (GINOP1.3.2-15-2018-00039)