The health care system can be overwhelming, intimidating and difficult to navigate. In order to receive the best health care possible, self-advocacy is an important and necessary quality to master. All patients have a right to feel confident and comfortable in the care that they are receiving. One of the most important qualities in self-advocacy is persistence. If you do not feel that you have been given the proper treatment, you have a right to speak up and express your feelings. It is important to be persistent without being disrespectful, aggressive or demeaning. Respectful persistence will pay off!
Patient issues within the health system can vary widely such as an inability to access a family physician, lack of accessibility to specialists, a misdiagnosis, a botched surgery, a person being undiagnosed and even death.
Below are some tips that may help a patient advocate for themselves.
There are numerous agencies that can aid a patient in gaining knowledge and receiving support when they have been given a diagnosis. Taking full advantage of these free agencies can be vital in the health of a patient. These organizations specialize in the medical problem and can direct a patient to the proper support and treatment. A few organizations that may be able to assist include: