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Public feedback requested on Niagara Health's Patient Bill of Rights and Responsibilities

Posted Dec 7th, 2010

Niagara, ON: The Niagara Health System (NHS) is conducting public consultation over the next three months to ensure its Patient Bill of Rights and Responsibilities reflects the values that patients and their families along with staff, physicians, volunteers and community partners identify as being important.

A brief online survey, available in English and French on the Niagara Health System website, launches on December 7, 2010 and remains open until February 28, 2011. The survey asks questions about whether the existing Patient Bill of Rights is easy to understand, and what kind of changes respondents would suggest. Demographic questions are also part of the survey, including respondents’ postal code, age, and whether they are a patient or a healthcare provider.

The consultation process also includes interviewing inpatients and holding focus groups with key stakeholders to get their input. The hospital will reaffirm or revise the Patient Bill of Rights and Responsibilities by June 2011 based on the consultation.


Public consultation on a patient declaration of values is now a requirement of the Excellent Care for All Act legislation which is part of the Ontario government’s overall enhanced focus on quality of care in healthcare organizations across the province.

A steering committee, made up of patients, community representatives, hospital leadership and staff, physicians, and volunteers, is being established to receive the results of the feedback and finalize the Patient Bill of Rights and Responsibilites.

The NHS developed its initial declaration of values as a Patient Bill of Rights and Responsibilities in 2006 as follows:

Patient Bill of Rights and Responsibilities: The Niagara Health System encourages you (or your substitute decision maker / legally authorized representative) to take an active role during your Hospital treatment.
As a Patient you have the right to:

  • Be treated at all times with compassion, professionalism and respect.
  • Confidential treatment of your health information in accordance with the law.
  • Information necessary to make informed health care choices.
  • Give or refuse consent to medical treatment.
  • Express your concerns or complaints and expect the Hospital to make best efforts to provide a timely response to your questions.
  • A safe and clean environment.

As a Patient you have the responsibility to:

  • Provide accurate information relating to both your medical and personal history.
  • Be actively involved in your plan of care and to ask questions when you don't understand or require more information.
  • Be courteous and respectful of other patients, visitors, and the Hospital Team.
  • Be respectful of Hospital property and comply with Hospital policies.


"Our patients are our first priority. We’re taking a fresh look at our Patient Bill of Rights and Responsibilities to ensure we put our patients’ interests first and support our patient-centred care philosophy. We want to do a better job of providing our patients the opportunity to be active participants in their healthcare and healthcare decision-making, and this is one step towards ensuring our patients, and public have a voice in identifying what they value most about their healthcare experience." Debbie SevenpiferPresident and Chief Executive Officer.

For more information, media may contact:

Caroline Bourque Wiley
Public Affairs Consultant
905-378-4647, ext. 43113

Niagara Health System