Patient advocacy according to Act CLIV of 1997 on Health

The Patient Advocate
Section 30

(1) The patient advocate shall represent, in keeping with Subsections (2) to (5), the rights of patients defined in this Act and shall help them become acquainted with, and enforce, these rights.

(2) Patient advocacy services shall include especially the following:
a) assistance to patients with having access to medical records, making comments and asking questions thereon,
b) assistance to patients with verbalizing their complaints, and initiating the investigation thereof,
c) based upon the patient's written authorization, lodging a complaint with the head of the health care institution or the maintaining entity, furthermore taking actions with the competent authorities in matters related to the patient's medical treatment, and representing the patient in the course of such actions,
d) informing, on a regular basis, health care workers of the rules relating to patients’ rights and any changes therein, as well as of the enforcement of patients’ rights in the health care institution.

(3) The patient advocate may only proceed in individual cases within the boundaries of the authorization granted by the patient.

(4) The patient advocate shall draw the attention of the head of the service provider or maintaining entity to any unlawful practice and other shortcomings in connection with the operation of the health service provider that he might have experienced in carrying out his duty, and shall make proposals regarding the termination of such practices and shortcomings. Should this action prove to be unsuccessful, the patient advocate shall have the right to turn to the competent agency or person.

(5) The patient advocate shall pay special attention to representing patients’ rights of those at a disadvantage due to their age, physical or mental disability, health status or social situation.

Section 31

(1) The patient advocate shall have to right, within his competence, and in a way which does not jeopardize the undisturbed delivery of health care services, to:
a) enter the premises of the health service provider,
b) have access to the relevant documents,
c) address questions to health care workers.

(2) The patient advocate shall be bound by professional secrecy concerning the patients and shall handle patients’ personal data in compliance with the relevant legal rules.

Section 32

(1) The patient advocate shall operate within the organizational framework of the county (Budapest) institution of the NPHMOS.
(2) The patient advocate may not be in employment relationship with the health service provider which provides health services for the patients to be represented by him.

Section 33

(1) The health service provider shall ensure that patients and their relatives may become acquainted with the identity of the patient advocate(s) and the way in which he(they) can be contacted.
(2) The comments and remarks of the patient advocate shall be investigated, to the merit thereof, by the head of the health service provider within 10 working days, and by the maintaining entity within 30 working days [or, where the maintaining entity is a municipality or municipal assembly, at the next assembly meeting]; any position formulated upon such comments shall be communicated to the patient advocate.

Mediation Council
Section 34

(1) With a view to resolve legal.disputes which may arise between a patient and a health service provider in out-of-court proceedings, the parties may jointly initiate the settlement of such legal disputes within the framework of mediation proceedings.
(2) The provisions of a separate Act shall apply to the order of mediation proceedings and the composition of the mediation council

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