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"Year of Patients and Their Rights" Campaign Launched

State Secretary for Health Nora Berra has launched “2011: Year of Patients and Their Rights.” The campaign aims to increase awareness and understanding about patients’ rights, improve user information about services and health benefits, and bolster patient participation in their health care.

Although France passed its patients’ rights law in 2002, a poll conducted in this past September revealed that 70 percent of respondents believe that overall, they do not feel that they know what patients’ rights are. Following this finding, the Ministry of Health held a press conference last October establishing three commissions to develop action plans for enacting patients’ rights, ensuring positive hospital care experience, and supporting new expectations of citizens as health care actors.

The commissions’ recommendations were published in coordination with the campaign’s launch and identified four priorities for better ensuring patients’ rights: 1) engaging health professionals in promoting patients’ rights; 2) employing particular vigilance when using new technologies and new methods of care; 3) promoting transparency in the provision of care; and 4) stimulating participation in health care.

To mark the “Year of Patients and Their Rights,” the Ministry has planned a series of events including a national symposium to discuss the action plans devised by the three commissions, six regional debates to engage health professionals on patient experiences of care, a European Patients’ Rights Day to raise awareness, and the second annual Patients Rights Awards, which will award exemplars in promoting patients’ rights at the end of the year.


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