Patient Rights

Patient Rights in Turkey

In Turkey, Ministry of Health General Directorate of Curative Services regulates and supervises the patient rights implications, promoting the development of patients' rights practices acros   the country and preventing their violation. 

The basis of patients' rights is put forward in the Treaty of Lisbon. The Treaty, valid in all EU countries, is mainly related to physician-patient relationship. 

Fundamental rights as defined in the Treaty are as follows:

 Choosing Treatment

- Adequately informed patient has the right to refuse or accept the proposed treatment.

- Patients have the right to expect respect for the confidentiality of information about his private life and medical information by physicians.

Choice of Physician Freely

- The patient has the right to choice of physician freely.

- The patient has the right to be treated by the physician who decides ethically and freely without any external influence.

Choosing Representatives

- Every patient has the right to die with dignity.

- The patient has the right to accept or reject the spiritual solace with the help of proper religious representative.

In Turkey, anyone who applies to a medical institution for health care services is entitled to the following rights:

- Utilization of services in general: The principles of justice and equity within the framework of activities to promote healthy living and take advantage of preventive health services,

- Equality in access to service: To receive services without taking into account race, language, religion, creed, sex, political opinion, philosophical belief, economic and social conditions.

- Information: To obtain information regarding the variety of the medical facilities and services

- Selecting and changing medical institution: Select and change the medical institution and health services to benefit from the chosen medical institution,

- Staff recognition, select and change: Learning the identities and titles of physicians who provide healthcare, selecting and changing them,

- Information request: Asking any kind of information related to health status, verbally and in writing,

- Privacy: Right to have all kinds of health services in a private environment,

- Consent and permission: Medical interventions consent and permission,

- Refusing and stopping treatment: Refusing the treatment or asking to stop the treatment,

- Safety: Receiving health care in safe environment,

- Performing religious duties: to fulfill religious obligations in the extent of the facilities and within the measures taken by the administration of the medical institution,

- Receiving respectful service: Receiving health care with respect, care and attention with friendly, gentle, compassionate approach,

- Comfort: Receiving health services in hygienic conditions and in an environment that is disposed of noise and other disturbing factors,

- Visitors: Receiving visitors in accordance with the procedures and principles of Institutions and organizations,

- Having company: Keeping a companion within the legislation of the medical institution and the approval of the physician,

- Rights to apply, complain and sue: If the patient’s rights have been violated, he/she has the right to file complaints and lawsuits,

- Continuous service: patients take advantage of health care services, as long as it is needed,

- Expression: patients have the right to express their thoughts about the services provided,

Some of the other rights that are included in the European Charter of Patients’ Rights, applied by EU are as follows:

Right to Preventive Measures

Each individual has right to receive appropriate prophylaxis treatment. To achieve this goal, the task of health care is to provide the availability of free health services on a regular basis for various groups at risk and to ensure the availability of the results of scientific research and technological innovations.

Right to Choose Freely

Every individual who has sufficient knowledge will have the right to choose different treatment procedures (methods) and the person who will give treatment. The patient has the right to decide diagnosis and treatment, which method is used, and the doctor, specialist or hospital. All the obstacles that restrict the use of this right should be removed. A person who does not trust his/her doctor may request or choose another doctor.

Respect for Patients' Time

Every individual has the right to receive necessary treatment within a swift and predetermined period of time. This right applies to every stage of the treatment. Determining the waiting time is the duty of medical services taking into account of urgency of the situation on the basis of specific standards. Every individual must be guaranteed to have service and if a waiting list is needed, immediate sign of the individual must be provided. The patients have the right to see the waiting list provided that the privacy of every individual is respected.
If the same quality of health care is not provided in a predetermined period of time, the possibility of alternative services must be guaranteed and the costs borne by this must be reimbursed within a reasonable time to the patient. Physicians should allow enough time for their patients, to provide information.

Right for Quality Standards

Every individual has right to take the advantage of the standards and specifications of high quality health care services. The right to high quality health care requires the medical institutions’ and health care staff's to implement technical performance, comfort and human relations on satisfying levels.

Innovation Rights (Article 10)

Regardless of economic or financial conditions (without taking into account the reasons), each individual has right to take advantage of international standards, innovations, including diagnostic procedures.
Healthcare Services’ task is to conduct research in the field of rare diseases and support them in taking into account the biomedicine. The research results should be published appropriately.

Right to Have Personalized Treatment

Each individual has the right to be diagnosed and be treated based on his/her individual needs. For this purpose, Healthcare Services, disregarding the economic situation of the individual, should always provide flexible schedules in which treatment is prior.

Compensation Right

Each individual who suffered physical or moral and psychological damages during the treatment is entitled to receive compensation in a short time. Health Services should ensure the right for compensation even if the liable party cannot be determined, regardless of damage and its cause (severity).

How to obtain and implement these rights?

This article clearly states that all individual physicians and medical institutions/organizations in Turkey have malpractice insurance. In case of any incorrect treatment and subsequent permanent or temporary damage, the patient shall have the right to complain will be entitled to receive compensation.