Patients' Rights and Responsibilities | Western Cape Government

Patients' Rights and Responsibilities

(Department of Health and Wellness, Western Cape Government)

Patients' rights and responsibilities according to the National Patients' Charter.


According to the national patients' rights charter every patient has the right to:

  • A healthy and safe environment
  • Participation in decision-making
  • Access to health care services which include:
    • Receiving timely emergency care
    • Treatment and rehabilitation
    • Provision for special needs
    • Counselling
    • Palliative care
    • A positive disposition
    • Health information
  • Knowledge of ones own health insurance / medical aid scheme
  • Choice of health services
  • Be treated by a named health care provider
  • Confidentiality and privacy
  • Informed consent
  • Refusal of treatment
  • Be referred for a second opinion
  • Continuity of care
  • Complain about health services


Every patient or client has the following responsibilities:

  • To take care of his or her health.
  • To care for and protect the environment.
  • To respect the rights of other patients and health providers.
  • To utilise the health care system properly and not abuse it.
  • To know his or her local health service and what they offer.
  • To provide health care providers with the relevant and accurate information for diagnostic, treatment, rehabilitation or counselling purposes.
  • To advise the health care providers on his or her wishes with regard to his or her death.
  • To comply with the prescribed treatment or rehabilitation procedures.
  • To enquire about the related costs of the treatment and / or rehabilitation and arrange for payment.
  • To take care of health records in his or her possession.

If you feel that any of these rights have not been met please consult our complaints page.

The content on this page was last updated on 15 March 2014