Queries and Enquiries

For members of the public who want to lodge a complaint against a health practitioner the procedure is as follows:

  • They should first identify the relevant council to which the health practitioner belongs and,
  • Forward a written complaint to that applicable council. If the members of the public are not satisfied with response from the applicable council,
  • Appeal to the Authority.  

The Zimbabwe Patients Charter was developed from recommendations by the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) and the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare to offer protection to consumers and improve health service delivery. The Charter spells out general consumer rights to access healthcare and treatment.
Patients Rights can be described as social and individual rights. Social rights cover aspects such as the quality and accessibility of healthcare, while individual rights relate to basic human and consumer rights.  The Zimbabwe Patients Charter has two sections.

  • General Rights to Access and Treatment.
  • Services.

We would like to emphasise that it is very important that members of the public are aware of their rights when they enter health institutions and that they should receive education on  these rights.

Under general rights to access and treatment, patients have a right to access the health system at the time of need, both as non paying and paying patients. In the event that patients have contact with the Health Service, it is important for them to remember that the Health Service is there to respond to their needs. General rights to access and treatment deals with hospitality, confidentiality, privacy, discrimination, choice and redress of grievances.

1.    Hospitality (Health Care)
A patient has the right to be accorded courtesy and to be treated with respect in a safe and clean environment.

2.    Confidentiality
Save for the requirements of the law, all information concerning a patient’s illness or personal circumstances will be kept in confidence and used only for the purposes of their treatment. A patient has the right to details of his/her treatment and diagnosis.

3.     Privacy
A Patient has the right to privacy during consultation, examination and treatment. A patient shall therefore be interviewed and treated in surroundings designed to ensure privacy and shall have the right to be accompanied during any physical examination or treatment if they so wish.

4.    Discrimination (Human Treatment)
A patient has the right to be received and attended to without regard to sex, age, religion, colour, creed, tribe, race and socio-economic status. This also means that optimal health care must be provided to all citizens at the right cost.

5.    Choice
Patients must exercise their right to choose health workers who provide them with treatment or advice, the place and type of treatment that is provided. After being informed of the possible options, patients have the right to refuse or halt any medical interventions. Patients are also allowed to seek a second opinion at any given time while consulting the same medical or health care delivery system.

6.    Redress of Grievances
Patients shall have access to appropriate grievance handling procedures. They have the right to claim damages of injury or illness incurred or aggravated as a result of the failure of the health professional to exercise the duty and standard of care required of him or her while treating them. Patients shall have the right to legal advice as regards any malpractice by health care professionals.

1.    Admission and Stay in Hospital
In the event of an accident or emergency, patients should be attended to by a Health Worker immediately upon arrival, assessed and dealt with appropriately. Whether the patient is admitted as an emergency or not, hospital staff shall inform the patient’s relatives or next of kin or whoever the patient wishes, where practicable. Patients shall be given clear information about their illnesses and conditions and the treatment plan for their recovery.

2.    Consent
In some cases, treatment might necessitate the need for operative procedures. In the event that surgery is anticipated in patient’s treatment plan, the patient has the right to be consulted and to be informed about the nature of the operation. Where risks are known, the patient should be informed. If a patient is 18 years of age and above, he/she has the right to give consent to the surgery. Patients who are under 18 years of age are covered by parents, legal guardians, etc.


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