Patient Rights and Responsibilities
Protecting the interests of patients and their families
KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) is committed towards delivering quality services and ensuring the best outcomes for our patients. We aim to serve you, our patients and your families by providing quality healthcare built on values of compassion, integrity, and collaboration. As your healthcare provider, our medical professionals endeavour to treat your medical condition and safeguard your well-being regardless of your age, language, race, religion or social status.
At KKH, your medical care is provided by a team of male and female healthcare professionals who are duly licensed by local authorities.
Care and respect
- At KKH, you shall be treated with dignity and in a humane and safe environment. Your personal safety includes being free from physical restraints or seclusion, unless required as part of your overall medical treatment. Appropriate protection will be accorded to people with disability, elderly and those with special needs.
- We respect your personal values, religious and ethnic beliefs and need for privacy. You may express your religious and/or ethnic practices so long as they do not cause disharmony or conflict to others. If you require support in this area, please inform your nurse in the ward. Your nurse will be able to arrange for a visit by a religious counsellor.
- Making decisions about medical treatment for a serious illness can be difficult for you and your family. We will discuss with you and your family and if necessary, seek the advice of the Ethics Committee Secretariat. We respect and comply with your decisions made in accordance with your Advance Medical Directive1 if you have made one.
- You have the right to seek a second medical opinion within or outside the hospital.
Confidentiality and privacy
- We keep records of all patient visits and are bound by law and professional ethics to keep your medical records, including Electronic Medical Records2 and all aspects of care rendered to you, strictly confidential.
- This information will only be shared by those involved in providing care for you.
- This information may also be shared with other staff in the hospital administration for the purpose of hospital operations such as the monitoring of services rendered by our staff to you.
- We are also a major centre for medical research in this region. As such, there may be a need to view medical records for medical research and training, as authorised by law or the hospital. You can be assured that those who view your records are under legal obligations of non-disclosure.
- In certain circumstances, we may be required by the law to disclose the information, such as for the purpose of notification of infectious diseases.
- Other than the abovementioned instances, we will obtain written authorisation from you should we need to release your information to a third party.
- We will conduct consultations, examinations, treatments and case discussions discreetly and with respect to your personal privacy.
Explanation and information about your treatment and outcomes
- You are entitled to information on your medical condition, conveyed in a way you can understand. This information shall include, except in emergencies and where applicable:
In addition, you may also request for:
- Treatment options (including surgery process)
- Known outcome
- Known risks of treatment
- Known risks and consequences of non-treatment
- Estimated hospital bill
- Plan for your continuous care after discharge
- The names of the healthcare professionals responsible for your treatment
The information provided will help you decide whether to give consent to, or refuse the proposed treatment and/or procedure.
However, if you choose not to undergo treatment or leave the hospital against the doctor’s advice, to the extent permitted by law, you may do so upon signing a form to request discharge against medical advice.
You will accept full responsibility for consequences as a result of your decision.
You will be informed of the outcome of the planned treatment and unanticipated outcome, if any.
- A copy of your medical report in accordance with the hospital’s policy
- An explanation of your hospital charges
- Any additional information or queries you may have about your stay in the hospital
KKH is an academic hospital responsible for training future generations of healthcare professionals to serve the nation’s needs. There may be times when residents and students in medical, nursing and allied health disciplines participate in your care as appropriate under the supervision of the physician in charge.
Before conducting a clinical research involving human subjects, we are required to obtain the written consent of the patient to participate in the research project. You can choose to refuse to participate or opt out at any point during the research project after giving your written consent. Your decision of non-participation will not compromise the level of care you are entitled to.
Organ donation is the only way to give a better quality of life for the patients suffering from organ failures, such as heart, liver and kidney failures. The Human Organ Transplant Act or HOTA allows for organs (kidney, liver, heart and cornea) of those who have died in the hospitals, usually from causes such as accidents, bleeding in the brain or brain tumours, to be removed for the purpose of transplantation. It applies to all Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents 21 years old and above, who are of sound mind, unless they have opted out. HOTA also regulates living donor transplantation.
Organ transplant gives many patients a chance to a new lease of life. You may opt out of HOTA if you do not wish to donate any organ after death. Your wish will be respected. The opt-out form is available upon request from the hospital, and polyclinics or from the National Organ Transplant Unit (c/o Block 3 Level 1 Singapore General Hospital, Singapore 169608, Tel: 63214390). For more information, please contact HOTA Hotline:1800-2254-122 or visit the MOH website at www.moh.gov.sg.
While we have a responsibility to safeguard your interests as our patient, it is important for you to play your part in the entire treatment process. We want to give you the best possible care that meets your needs and address the anxieties of your family. We ask that you and your family:
- Provide complete information on your medical history (including allergies and medicines you are taking), financial circumstances and other relevant details to enable us to help you. This also includes sensitive medical information, such as termination of pregnancy, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) status, mental illnesses, which may be shared among the healthcare team participating in your medical care. This is to ensure safe and optimal medical management of your health. Please be assured that the information will be managed in accordance with the prevailing laws.
- Comply with the treatment plans given to you by our healthcare professionals.
- Inform us when you encounter problems that prevent you from complying with the treatment plans.
- Inform us of any changes in your medical condition.
- Be responsible in timely payment of required fees and charges for the medical services rendered to you.
- Appoint a decision-maker to represent your wishes about your care to us in the event that you are unable to do so.
- Treat all staff, other patients and visitors with due respect and courtesy.
- Comply with the hospital regulations such as the visitation policy.
- Ask questions when you are unsure of any instructions so that we know you are capable of taking care of yourself at home after discharge.
We value your feedback on our continual efforts to improve our services for the benefit of our patients. If you have any suggestions or wish to share your experience about our services, please complete the patient experience survey or call our Office of Patient Experience at 1800-293-3297. Alternatively, contact us via the feedback form on this website.
1 Advance Medical Directive is a legal document which you sign in advance to inform the doctor treating you that you do not want any life-sustaining treatment to prolong your life in the event that you are terminally ill and unconscious.
2 Electronic Medical Record Exchange (EMRX) is an initiative by the Ministry of Health and two public healthcare clusters, SingHealth (which KKH is part of) and National Healthcare Group, to share electronic medical records across all public hospitals and polyclinics in Singapore. EMRX enables medical staff involved in your care to meet your unique medical needs better and faster. The following information will be shared:
- Discharge Summary which summarises your recent hospitalisation record
- Laboratory, X-ray and other radiological test results
- Operation reports
- Medicines prescribed
To find out more about Advance Medical Directive and EMRX, please visit Ministry of Health’s website at www.moh.gov.sg.
The above is also available for download as brochures in the following languages:
The brochures are in three-fold and two-sided format.