The Ghanaian Patient’s Rights

Ripples ARP  Organisation © All rights reserved

Inherent in the institution of the Ghana Health service are supposed to be the core values of service and respect for all patients, not just by virtue of their predisposition, but by their right as citizens and shared sovereignty. Healthcare, like in most other countries should provide the right frame of body and mind for the human resource of the state to function daily for collective productivity. It is not uncommon to come across many individuals who claim to be timid, afraid, or lack knowledge with regards to their medical management. Did you know that as a patient, you have the right to the following?

  • Entitlement to full information on your condition and management and the possible risks involved except in emergency situations when the patient is unable to make a decision and the need for treatment is urgent.
  • The patient is entitled to know of alternative treatment(s) and other health care providers within the Service if these may contribute to improved outcomes.
  • The patient has the right to know the identity of all his/her caregivers and other persons who may handle him/her including students, trainees and ancillary workers.
  • The patient has the right to consent or decline to participate in a proposed research study involving him or her after a full explanation has been given. The patient may withdraw at any stage of the research project.
  • A patient who declines to participate in or withdraws from a research project is entitled to the most effective care available.
  • The patient has the right to privacy during consultation, examination and treatment. In cases where it is necessary to use the patient or his/her case notes for teaching and conferences, the consent of the patient must be sought.
  • The patient is entitled to confidentiality of information obtained about him or her and such information shall not be disclosed to a third party without his/her consent or the person entitled to act on his/her behalf except where such information is required by law or is in the public interest.
  • The patient is entitled to all relevant information regarding policies and regulation of the health facilities that he/she attends.
  • Hospital charges, mode of payments and all forms of anticipated expenditure shall be explained to the patient prior to treatment.
  • Exemption facilities, if any, shall be made known to the patient.
  • The patient has the right to a second medical opinion if he/she so desires.


So the next time you are hesitant to any of the above, know that it is only your right as stated by our laws as a country. Of course, this goes without saying that the healthcare personnel are also humans with social characteristics. We, as patients should therefore bear these in mind with our approach and demand for these rights. This goes without saying, that in hand with our rights as patients comes certain responsibilities:

  • Providing full and accurate medical history for his/her diagnosis, treatment, counseling and rehabilitation purposes.
  • Requesting additional information and or clarification regarding his/her health or treatment, which may not have been well understood.
  • Complying with prescribed treatment, reporting adverse effects and adhering, to follow up requests.
  • Informing his/her healthcare providers of any anticipated problems in following prescribed treatment or advice.
  • Obtaining all necessary information, which have a bearing on his/her management and treatment including all financial implications.
  • Acquiring knowledge, on preventive, promotive and simple curative practices and where necessary to seeking early professional help.
  • Maintaining safe and hygienic environment in order to promote good health.
  • Respecting the rights of other patients/clients and Health Service personnel


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