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.
In order to advocate successfully for yourself, it is important to fully understand your rights. Educating yourself in the health care system and the rights of patients can be highly useful in solving issues. Important documents that outline your rights as a patient are: