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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 254-259

Patient's bill of rights: Is it a challenge for quality health care in Saudi Arabia?

Department of Medical Education, College of Dentistry, Taibah University, Al Madina 2898, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Mohamed S Mahrous
Department of Medical Education, College of Dentistry, Taibah University, Al Madina 2898
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sjmms.sjmms_147_16

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Background: Increasing interest in patients' rights and the certainty of its impact on the quality of patient care has led to extensive research in both developed and developing countries. In 2006, the Government of Saudi Arabia publicized the Patient's Bill of Rights (PBR) that was aimed at improving patients' and health-care professionals' experience, with a focus on the quality of care provided. Objective: To determine the degree of awareness of rights among patients admitted to hospitals in Al-Madinah Al-Munawarah. The results would help policymakers understand the impact of patients' rights, and thus provide them with evidence to provide quality health-care service delivery and patient care through patients' rights. Methodology: This is an observational, analytical, cross-sectional study implemented in Al-Madinah Al-Munawarah, Saudi Arabia, using a self-administered questionnaire. Results: The study had a response rate of 83.01% and found an association between gender and knowledge for the selected items of patients' rights. However, there was no statistically significant difference between the knowledge of males and females regarding the consent form, with an awareness rate of 90% among the total sample size. However, almost half had never heard about patients' rights. Conclusion: This study shows that in Al-Madinah Al-Munawarah, Saudi Arabia, there is a low level of awareness among patients admitted to hospitals regarding their rights. Further, it was found that wall placards, mass media and health-care providers are important sources of knowledge regarding patients' rights. Health-care policymakers in Saudi Arabia should recognize the importance of patients' rights as means of providing better quality care and a higher rate of patient satisfaction by establishing measures to tackle obstacles that may impede the implementation of PBR.

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