Self Advocacy Tips

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.

Reach out to Related Organizations

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:

  • The government has a wide array of support agencies that can bring clarity to a patient case such as the Office of Seniors Advocates, Alberta Mental Health Patient Advocate Office, or Alberta Health Services to name a few. Contact 310-0000 for direction to the proper agency.
  • Contact local non-profit organizations that specialize in your medical situation. There are numerous agencies that will help a patient with understanding their condition such as the MS Society, CUPS and Calgary Legal Guidance to name a few. These free services can help greatly and direct a patient in effective care.