Independent and effective institution as guarantee of the protection of the patients’ rights

Donor: The Foundation for an Open Society
Duration: December 2012. – July 2013.

”Law Scanner” is conducting activities on the project “Independent and effective institution as guarantee of the protection of the patients’ rights” funded by The Foundation for an Open Society. The aim of the project is to improve the quality of protection of patients׳ rights through finding the best solution for the legal status and work of the Protector of patients’ rights.

Article 39 of the Health Care Law, adopted in 2005 stipulates institution of the Protector of the patients׳ rights appointed by the director of health institutions from among the employees of the legal department. Jurisdiction and the role of Protector of the patients׳ rights is insufficiently defined; therefore this institution is in the conflict of jurisdiction. Analyzing the practices of health institutions we visited, it is clear that the Protector does not protect patients’ interests but the interests of the medical institution where he works.

For this purpose, the ”Law Scanner” will, in cooperation with independent subjects: The Office of the Ombudsman of the Republic, the Provincial Ombudsman and Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection, as well as the professional community create a platform that will, as a result of the comparative-legal activities, offer the best solution for the organization and the legal status of the Protector of patient’s rights. Considering that the countries in the region, like most European legislation has a special legal act that is solely concerned with protecting the rights of patients, analysis of the practice of these countries and the experience of all participants in the project in the area of patients’ rights, the platform will adequately define solution that would be appropriate for the health system of the Republic of Serbia. In this way, the institution will provide its independent action, providing efficient and quality care to patients, representing their interests in the best way.

At the same time, in order for citizens to actively participate in the protection of their rights, they must be familiar with its contents and methods of protection. In order to raise the awareness of citizens, public authorities and all relevant subjects, the ”Law Scanner” will continually and intensively promote the legal rights of patients.