Patient Bill of Rights

For many decades the vast majority of the South African population has experienced either a denial or violation of fundamental human rights, including rights to health-care services.
To ensure the realisation of the right of access to health-care services as guaranteed in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (Act No. 108 of 1996), the Department of Health is committed to upholding, promoting and protecting this right and therefore proclaims this Patients Rights Charter as a common standard for achieving the realisation of this right.

Patients Rights
  • Healthy and safe environment
    Everyone has the right to a healthy and safe environment that will ensure their physical and mental health or well-being, including adequate water supply, sanitation and waste disposal and also protection from all forms of environmental danger, such as pollution, ecological degradation or infection.
  • Participation in decision-making
    Every citizen has the right to participate in the development of health policies and everyone has the right to participate in decision-making on matters affecting one’s health.
  • Access to health care
    • Everyone has the right of access to health care services that include:
      • Receiving timely emergency care at any health care facility that is open, regardless of one’s ability to pay;
      • Treatment and rehabilitation that must be made known to the patient to enable the patient to understand such treatment or rehabilitation and the consequences thereof;
      • Provision for special needs in the case of newborn infants, children, pregnant women, the aged, disabled persons, patients in pain, persons living with HIV or AIDS patients;
      • Counselling without discrimination, coercion or violence on matters such as reproductive health, cancer or HIV/AIDS;
      • Palliative care that is affordable and effective in cases of incurable or terminal illness;
      • A positive disposition displayed by health-care workers that demonstrates courtesy, human dignity, patience, empathy and tolerance;
      • health information that includes the availability of health services, and how best to use such services and such information shall be in the language understood by the patient.
  • Knowledge of one’s health insurance/medical aid scheme
    A member of a health insurance or medical aid scheme is entitled to information about that health insurance or medical aid scheme and to challenge, where necessary, the decisions of such health insurance or medical aid scheme relating to the member.
  • Choice of health services
    Everyone has the right to choose a particular health-care service or a particular health facility for treatment provided that such choice shall not be contrary to the ethical standards applicable to such health-care providers or facilities and the choice of facility is in line with prescribed service-delivery guidelines.
  • Treated by a named health-care provider
    Everyone has the right to know the person who is providing health care and therefore must be attended to only by clearly identified health providers.
  • Confidentiality and privacy
    Information concerning one’s health, including information concerning treatment, may only be disclosed with informed consent, except when required in terms of any law or an order of court.
  • Informed consent
    Everyone has the right to be given full and accurate information about the nature of one’s illnesses, diagnostic procedures, the proposed treatment and the costs involved for one to make a decision that affects any of these elements.
  • Refusal of treatment
    A person may refuse treatment and such refusal shall be verbal or in writing provided that such refusal does not endanger the health of others.
  • A second opinion
    Everyone has the right to be referred for a second opinion on request to a health provider of one’s choice.
  • Continuity of care
    No one shall be abandoned by a health-care professional worker or a health facility that initially took responsibility for one’s health.
  • Complaints about health services
    Everyone has the right to complain about the health-care and service provider to have such complaints investigated and to receive a full response on such investigation.
Responsibilities of the Patient
  • Every patient or client has the following responsibilities:
    • To take care of his or her health.
    • To care for and protect the environment.
    • To respect the rights of other patients, health workers and health care providers.
    • To use the health care system optimally and not to abuse it.
    • To know his or her local health services and what they offer.
    • To give health workers relevant and accurate information for diagnostic, treatment, rehabilitation or counselling purposes.
    • To advise the health providers of his or her wishes regarding his or her death.
    • To comply with the prescribed treatment and/or rehabilitation procedures.
    • To ask about the related costs of the treatment and/or rehabilitation and to arrange for the payment.
    • To take care of health records in his or her possession.
Donor Bill of Rights

At HospiceWits Witwatersrand, we believe every donor is important. We endorse the following practices and policies as outlined in the Donor Bill of Rights developed by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

Philanthropy is based on voluntary action for the common good. It is a tradition of giving and sharing that is primary to the quality of life. To assure that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the general public, and that donors and prospective donors can have full confidence in the not-for-profit organisations and causes they are asked to support, we declare that all donors have these rights:

  • To be informed of the organisation’s mission, of the way the organisation intends to use donated resources, and of its capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes.
  • To be informed of the identity of those serving on the organisation’s governing board, and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities.
  • To have access to the organisation’s most recent financial statements.
  • To be assured that their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given.
  • To receive appropriate acknowledgement and recognition.
  • To be assured that information about their donations is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the full extent provided by law.
  • To expect that all relationships with individuals representing organisations of interest to the donor will be professional in nature.
  • To be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers, employees of the organisation or hired solicitors.
  • To have the opportunity for their names to be removed from mailing lists that an organisation may intend to share.
  • To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers.
An example of Section 18A of the Income Tax Act, 1962

Summary of the act: as per bold font:

There shall be allowed to be deducted from the taxable income of any taxpayer so much of the sum of any bona fide donations by that taxpayer in cash or of property made in kind which was actually paid or transferred during the year of assessment to –
(a) any –
(i) public benefit organisation contemplated in paragraph (a)(i) of the definition of ‘public benefit organisation’ in section 30(1) approved by the Commissioner under section 30 as does not exceed ten per cent of the taxable income (excluding any retirement fund lump sum benefit and retirement fund lump sum withdrawal benefit) of the taxpayer as calculated before allowing any deduction under this section or section 18.

  • Practical simple example 1: No donation made to HospiceWits:
    • Taxable income: R450 000
    • Tax payable: R119 000
  • Practical simple example 2: Donation of R15000 made to HospiceWits:
    • Taxable income: R450 000
    • Donation made: R15 000
    • Taxable Income R435 000
    • Tax payable: R11 3750
  • The cost to the individual of his/her donation to HospiceWits is therefore:
    • Donation to HospiceWits: R15 000
    • Tax benefit R-5 250
  • Net Cost of Donation: R9 750