About the project “Bringing Human Rights to Patients and Health Care Providers”
The Project “Bringing Human Rights to Patients and Health Care Providers” refers to the application of general and universal human rights principles to all stakeholders in the health care system of Moldova. Left unexplored and uninvestigated, the human rights violations in this field perpetuate negligence, corruption, mortality and morbidity. Emerging from a totalitarian system where collective interest trumped individual rights, Republic of Moldova is facing a transitional context in order to define a framework for protecting basic rights in the delivery of health care services. In order to implement and enforce effectively these rights, there is an urgent need to raise legal awareness and consultancy on protection mechanisms for both patients and health care providers.
The Moldovan health care practitioners are often constrained in their ability to provide quality care services and are unaware of ethical and human rights abuses that they may be occurring by their practices as reveals the Centre for Human Rights of Moldova in its Annual Report for 2012. The most wide spread form of human rights violation in patient care is the right of access to health care services, intrinsically related to the right to non-discrimination & equality. Patients are not the only group that suffers abuses, also the medical professionals are denied in safe working conditions and are susceptible to persecutions or coercion to disclose confidential information.
The Project “Bringing Human Rights to Patients and Health Care Providers” is foreseen for 1 year (1st January 2014 – 31st December 2014) and aims to contribute to the enforcement of human rights standards in patient care in Moldova (including Transnistrian region). This goal will be mainly achieved through creation and maintenance of a specialized website with a user-friendly approach. The website should become a comprehensive informational resource for wider Moldovan public and particularly for the persons from the marginalized groups (people living with HIV or TB, people in need of palliative care, ethnic minorities, sexual or gender minorities, women, migrants, unemployed people, single mothers, people who use drugs, and people with intellectual disabilities or mental health problems). These groups are especially vulnerable to abuse because they lack access to information resources and structures to vindicate their individual rights.
The website will also represent an instrument in identifying the abuses in patient care and providing practical advice for the victims. The site will contain information about national and international mechanisms that permit rights defense of victims and how to exhaust the effective ways of defense.
At the moment, the human rights practitioners in Moldova express little interest for the patient care as there remain huge gaps in understanding how human rights in patient care apply in practice. The internet platform shall attract wider interest in the field of human rights in patient care being a very useful resource for lawyers in highlighting illustrative cases and providing an overview of the procedural mechanisms. The Practitioner Guide developed by OSF’s Law and Health Initiative, Human Rights Initiative, in partnership with Soros Foundation-Moldova, will be disseminated to practitioners and the website will serve to a better understanding of the human rights norms and the procedural particularities for vindicating patient and provider rights in these particular settings.
We look forward to establishing a helpful communication between medical care providers, patients and legal professionals, as the site will not only state the existence of human rights violations in patient care and describe them, but will also provide solutions for solving this systemic phenomenon and help ensure a respectful environment between stakeholders in patient care. Thus, the website will provide communication tools to connect lawyers, health providers, and patients concerned about human rights in patient care. Through this informal tool combined with specific training for lawyers, we aim to develop a new generation of lawyers with expertise in human rights and patient care devoted to the human rights protection and prevention of further violations in Moldova.
To contribute to the access to justice for individuals suffered from human rights violation (for both patients and health care providers) in the delivery of health care, during the project implementation period a group of experts (lawyers / defence lawyers) will lead extensive practice in legal aid providing pro-bono consultations and writing applications for project beneficiaries for their defense before national courts. To support this activity, we will create special instrument on the developed website – interactive banner “Pro-bono consultations”, clicking on which project beneficiaries / victims of human rights violation in the delivery of health care can apply for pro-bono consultations from project experts. All these cases and experts work / consultations / practical advice and applications will be further placed on the website (without confidential information and personal data of the victim).
The field of human rights in patient care is new in Moldova as it is globally, but we hope the Project “Bringing Human Rights to Patients and Health Care Providers” will attract more interest in this field and will ultimately help Moldovan citizens to raise awareness, mobilize, and claim the human rights they are entitled to in patient care.
GOAL AND OBJECTIVES
- To contribute to the enforcement of human rights standards in patient care in Moldova (including Transnistrian region)
- To raise legal awareness and consultancy on protection mechanisms for both patients and health care providers among general public and individuals suffered from human rights violation in the delivery of health care through development and maintenance of specialized website;
- To develop a new generation of lawyers with expertise in human rights and patient care devoted to the human rights protection and prevention of further violations in Moldova;
- To contribute to the access to justice for individuals suffered from human rights violation (for both patients and health care providers) in the delivery of health care.