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Concept of patients' charters 'inadequate'
Date:12/7/2007

ot request treatment when they need it, or with delay, which may result in poorer overall health and higher costs for the healthcare system.

Similarly, emphasising the need to keep (or cancel) appointments may be unfair for patients who may have good reasons for missing appointments.

With rising healthcare costs, higher burdens of chronic diseases, and increasing evidence about the contribution of genetic and behavioural factors to disease, the issue of personal responsibility for health is here to stay, says Schmidt. There have already been concerns about the decision of some primary care trusts to require, for example, patients to lose weight or stop smoking before routine surgery.

The BMAs proposal for a health responsibility charter, and similar initiatives towards spelling out rights and responsibilities as part of Lord Darzis current review of the NHS, offer unique opportunities to clarify which types of responsibilities are compatible with the ethos of the NHS, and which ones are not, he concludes.


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Contact: Emma Dickinson
edickinson@bmj.com
44-020-738-36529
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Source:Eurekalert

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