You have the right to ask questions and get answers.
3 questions to ask:
- What is my health problem?
- What do I need to do?
- Why do I need to do this?
You need to:
- be clear about the details of your consultation.
- understand the treatment or medication.
You can seek a second opinion.
- This means talking to another doctor.
- When do you need a second opinion?
- If you are not satisfied with your doctor’s diagnosis or treatment.
- When you are facing a risky or costly treatment (like surgery).
- When you are not clear if the treatment will work.
- When you need more information about your options.
- Ask your primary doctor for a referral to another specialist.
You can ask about your healthcare provider’s experience and training
- Know more about your doctor’s or health care team’s:
- Politely ask for information from your doctor.
You have the right to be informed before you willingly give or refuse consent.
- Get all the facts before making a decision.
- Know the:
- benefits and risks
- possible side effects
- treatment choices
- who will give the treatment
- how the treatment will be done
- results of refusing the treatment
- Parents or guardians decide for children up to 18 years old.
- The age of consent is 16 years old in other regions.
You have the right to get your personal health information.
- You can get information in your medical records (with limited exceptions).
- You say who can and can’t look into your personal health information (PHI).
Your PHI includes:
- Your name, address and Personal Health Identification Number (PHIN)
- Facts about your health, healthcare history and family history
- Facts about the care you are receiving
- Facts about payment for your healthcare
You can get help from a patient advocate
A patient advocate is “a person you choose to support you or act on your behalf”.
- Get a patient advocate when:
- you can’t speak English or French.
- you are too ill.
- He/she will talk to your family doctor or nurse.
- He/she can be a trusted relative or friend.
- He/she must have time to help you.
- You should name your patient advocate before you need one.
You can decide the type of care you do and do not want to receive
- You can make your own health care decisions.
- If you can’t speak for yourself ask your advocate.
- Make a Health Care Directive or Living Will.
- It contains the treatment you prefer when you can’t speak for yourself.
You have the right to voice your concerns
- You can speak without interruptions.
- You can:
- ask questions
- share your opinions about your care
- say your complaints and concerns
You have the right to report any unplanned harm.
- Your doctor should tell you when a critical incident (CI) happens while being treated.
- A critical incident (CI) is:
- An event that harms a patient while receiving health services.
- It causes injury, disability, or death.
- “It is not related to the patient’s main health condition.” (Patient Safety Definitions, MIPS)
</ulIf you feel that a CI occurred, you may report it.Call the:
- Critical Incident Reporting Line at (204) 788-8222 in Winnipeg, or
- Regional health authority office in Manitoba.
Adapted from the MIPS Know your Patient Rights (full version).
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The Manitoba Institute for Patient Safety – It’s Safe to Ask has many easy-to-read materials. Available in various languages.
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