Patient Charter & Legal Basis

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Patient Charter & Legal Basis
Patient Charter & Legal Basis

Video: Patient Charter & Legal Basis

Video: Patient Charter & Legal Basis
Video: Patient Charter 2023, March

Patient Charter & Legal Basis

Basic patient rights are described in detail in the patient charter. The patient charter is an agreement according to Art. 15a B-VG, which was concluded between the federal government and the federal states. In this, the contractual partners undertake to ensure patient rights in legislation and enforcement. Patients' rights themselves are enshrined in numerous federal and state laws. These represent the actual legal basis. The four most important cornerstones of the patient charter are: patient dignity, self-determination, information and patient support.


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  • Right to treatment and care
  • Right to respect for dignity and integrity
  • Right to self-determination and information
  • Right to documentation
  • Special provisions for children
  • Representation of patient interests
  • Enforcement of claims for damages
  • Patients' rights: legal bases

Right to treatment and care

Healthcare services must be available to all patients - regardless of age, gender, origin, wealth, religious denomination or the type and cause of the disease (Article 4). Emergency medical care and the supply of medicines and medical devices must also be ensured (Article 6). Diagnosis, treatment and care must be carried out in accordance with the current state of science or recognized methods. This also includes the best possible pain therapy (Article 7). Health care services are subject to quality control and quality assurance measures are taken in line with the state of the art (Article 8).

Right to respect for dignity and integrity

The intimate and private sphere of the patients must be preserved. As far as possible, the processes in hospitals and health resorts are to be adapted to the general rhythm of life (Article 10). If desired, religious care for inpatients must be made possible (Article 12). Health-related data are subject to data protection (Article 13). In the case of inpatient treatment, it must be possible to receive visits. But it is also the patient's wish to respect not to receive visitors or certain people. Patients can name persons they can trust who can have contact outside of visiting hours, especially in the event of a deterioration in their health (Article 15). In inpatient facilities, dying with dignity and the best possible pain therapy must be made possible (Article 15).

Right to self-determination and information

Patients have the right to be informed in advance about possible types of diagnosis and treatment as well as their risks and consequences. They also have the right to be informed about their state of health as well as about their required participation in treatment and about a lifestyle that supports therapy. Patients must be informed in advance of the likely costs (Article 16).

Patients may only be treated if they have given their consent. If you are not able to do this, a representative is responsible for the approval. Otherwise, patients may only be treated without consent if there is a risk of delay (Article 17).

Patients have the right to determine in advance what should happen if they are unable to act (Article 18). There is also the option of drawing up a living will. Patients have the right to inspect the medical documentation held about them, including attachments such as X-rays.

Right to documentation

Diagnostic, therapeutic and nursing measures must be documented. The patient's expression of will must also be recorded in the documentation. This can also include objections to organ removal (Article 21). Patients have the right to receive copies of the documentation without having to give a reason - an appropriate cost reimbursement (cost) may be demanded for making copies (Article 22).

Special provisions for children

The education of minors must correspond to the state of development (Article 23). In the case of inpatient stays of children up to the age of ten, an accompanying person must be able to be admitted. If this is not possible for spatial reasons, caregivers have extensive visiting rights (Article 25).

Representation of patient interests

Independent patient representatives are to be set up to represent patient interests. These representations are not subject to instructions and are bound to secrecy. Patients have the right to have their complaints examined by the patient representatives and they must be informed of the results of the examination. There are no costs for patients (Article 29).

Enforcement of claims for damages

In connection with the liability of health services, deviations from the provisions of the ABGB relevant to compensation law may only be made in favor of the patient (Article 32). Settlement discussions, e.g. before medical arbitration boards, prevent the statute of limitations (Article 33).

You can download the patient charter here.

Patients' rights: legal bases

Patient rights are regulated in numerous federal and state laws. The patient rights formulated in the patient charter are implemented in these laws. These are immediate rights that are granted directly to patients. In many professional regulations, which regulate the duties and rights of health workers, there are also regulations relevant to patient law.

The legal bases for patient rights include:

  • General Civil Code (ABGB)
  • General Social Insurance Act (ASVG)
  • Doctors Act (DoctorsG)
  • Health and Nursing Act (GuKG)
  • Midwifery Act (HebG)
  • Residence Act (HeimAufG)
  • Hospitals and Health Resorts Act (KAKuG)
  • State Hospitals Acts (KAG)
  • Living Will Act (PatVG)
  • Psychologist Act (PsychologenG)
  • Psychotherapy Act (PsychotherapieG)
  • Administrator Law Amendment Act 2006 (SWRÄG 2006)
  • Criminal law (StGB)
  • Accommodation Act (UbG)
  • Dental law (ZÄG)

You can call up the laws in the legal information system of the Federal Chancellery.

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