Week 1: Understanding irritable bowel syndrome

Week 4: Healthy thinking, healthy self

Week 5: Balancing activity and reclaiming your life

Week 6: Maintaining your gains and staying well

Know your rights

The more informed you are about irritable bowel syndrome, the easier it will be for you to work with your doctor to find the right treatment plan. Similarly, educating yourself about irritable bowel syndrome and your rights and responsibilities as a patient can help you to feel more empowered. Demystifying the medical world can also help to reduce feelings of anxiety and overwhelm. As we mentioned above, you should aim to be an active participant in your medical care. To do this, you will need to become an empowered, educated patient. 

Although it may seem obvious, many people don’t know their rights as a healthcare patient. Others may be aware of these rights, but don’t follow through and respect them. For example, it is not uncommon to hear people say that they don’t understand their treatment, connect with, or feel heard by their doctor. However, it is less common to hear of people changing doctors or therapists when they are unhappy with the service. Of course, there are many reasons for this, but it rarely leads to a productive outcome. 

Below is a list of your basic rights as a healthcare patient. Although these may differ slightly depending on geographical location and culture, the fundamental principles should stand:

    1. Access. You have a right to access high-quality care within a reasonable timeframe. 
    2. Safety. You have a right to a safe and supportive healthcare environment.
    3. Respect. You have a right to be and have your healthcare preferences and needs respected.
    4. Collaboration. You have a right to be included in choices about your care.
    5. Information. You have a right to ask questions and seek information about your care.
    6. Privacy. You have a right to privacy of your healthcare and personal information. 
    7. Feedback. You have a right to provide feedback and raise concerns about your care.