Jago Grahak Jago

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Patient Rights

The National Human Rights Commission recommends the Charter of Patient Rights to provide adequate protection to the patients in India. It includes:

Right to Information – Every patient has the right to adequate relevant information about the nature, cause of illness, provisional/confirmed diagnosis, proposed investigations, risks, benefits, expected treatment outcomes and possible complications to enable them to make informed decisions.

Right to Records and Reports – Every patient or his/her caregiver has the right to access originals/copies of case papers, patient records and investigation reports.  

Right to Emergency Medical Care – All hospitals, both in the government and private sector,  are  duty  bound  to  provide  basic  emergency  medical  care to injured persons, irrespective of paying capacity.

Right to Informed Consent – Every  patient  has  the right  that  informed  consent  must  be  sought  prior  to invasive investigation/surgery (e.g.  invasive  investigation/surgery/chemotherapy) which carries certain risks. They should be explained about the risks, benefits and alternatives and the doctor can proceed only if consent has been given in writing by the patient/caregiver.

Right to Confidentiality, Human Dignity and Privacy – Every patient has a right to privacy; medical information given to a healthcare provider should not be divulged to others unless the patient gives his/her consent to disclose such information.  Female  patients  have  the  right  to  presence  of  another  female  person during physical examination by a male practitioner. All records concerning the patient should be kept under safe custody and insulated from data theft and leakage.

Right to Second Opinion – Every patient has the right to seek a second opinion on his/her medical condition from a doctor/hospital of choice. Doctors and hospitals must respect the patient’s decision and should provide all necessary records and information to the patient’s caregivers without any extra cost or delay.

Right to Transparency in Rates – Every patient has a right to information on the rates to be charged by the hospital for each type of service provided and facilities available. They have a right to receive an itemised detailed bill at the time of payment. Every hospital/clinical establishment should display the key rates on a prominent display board and provide a brochure.

Right to Non-Discrimination – Every patient has the right to receive treatment without any discrimination based on his/her illnesses (including HIV status or other health condition), religion, caste, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, linguistic or geographical/social origins.

Right to Safety and Quality Care According to Standards – Every patient has a right to safety and security in the hospital premises. They have a right to be provided care in an environment having requisite cleanliness, infection control measures, safe drinking water and sanitation facilities. The hospital management and treating doctors have a duty to provide quality healthcare in accordance with current standards of care and standard treatment guidelines, and to avoid medical  negligence or deficiency in service.

Right to Choose Alternative Treatment Options if Available – Every patient has the right to choose between alternative treatment/management options, if these are available, after considering all aspects of the situation.

Right to Choose Source for Obtaining Medicines and Tests – When any medicine  is  prescribed  by  a  doctor/hospital,  the  patient/caregiver  has  the  right  to  choose  any  registered  pharmacy  to purchase them. Similarly,  they can obtain an investigation from any registered diagnostic centre/laboratory having qualified personnel and accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Laboratories (NABL).

Right to Proper Referral and Transfer –  Every patient has the right to continuity of care and the patient and caregivers have the right to be  informed by the hospital about any continuing healthcare requirements following discharge from the hospital. They have to be provided with information and access on whom to contact in case of an emergency. In case of transfer & referral, the patient should be given right explanation that justifies the transfer, as well as confirmation from the hospital receiving the patient about their acceptance of the transfer.

Right to Protection for Patients Involved in Clinical Trials – Every person/patient who is approached to participate in a clinical trial has a right to due protection in this context. The participation should uphold informed consent, confidentiality of personal information, free medical management of adverse events, compensation for trial-related injury/death, etc.

Right to Protection of Participants Involved in Biomedical and Health Research – Every patient who is taking part in biomedical research has a right to due protection in  this  context. 

Right to Take Discharge of Patient, or Body of Deceased from the Hospital – Every patient has the right to take discharge and cannot be detained in a hospital, on procedural grounds, such as dispute in payment of hospital charges. Similarly, caretakers have the right to the dead body of a patient who had been treated in a hospital.

Right to Patient Education – Every patient has the right to receive education about major facts relevant to his/her condition and healthy living practices, rights and responsibilities, relevant officially supported health insurance schemes, relevant entitlements  in  case  of  charitable  hospitals,  and  how  to  seek  redressal  of grievances.


Right to be Heard and Seek Redressal – Every patient has the right to give feedback, make comments or lodge complaints about the healthcare they are receiving or had received from a doctor/hospital. The patient/caregiver has the right to fair and prompt redressal of his/her concern and every  hospital  has  the  duty  to  set  up  an  internal redressal  mechanism to address such complaints.