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Luxembourg’s Ministry of Health and Social Security together with local associations have announced that 18 April 2024 is European Patient Rights Day.

The health ministry, the Circle of Patient Associations (Cercle des Associations de Patients - CAPAT), the Luxembourg Hospital Federation (FHL), the COPAS Federation and the National Health Information and Mediation Service took this opportunity to remind the public that every patient has a certain number of rights in Luxembourg set out in the amended law of 24 July 2014, relating to the rights and obligations of patients. This law will celebrate its tenth anniversary in 2024.

Together with the principles of solidarity and equitable access to care, the rights and obligations of the patient are at the heart of our health system. The main rights of the patient are:

  • equal access to quality health care;
  • free choice of a service provider;
  • the right to be assisted by a companion;
  • the right to information on the state of health;
  • the right to accept, refuse and decide with the service provider on their coverage;
  • the right to a patient file and to access it;
  • the right to confidentiality and respect for professional secrecy;
  • the right to designate a trusted person;
  • the right to express oneself in advance about one's health care in an advance directive or an end-of-life provision;
  • the right to complain and the right to contact the health mediator service.

To these rights are added the obligations of the patient, in particular that of participating in the provision of health care through transparent collaboration and fair information from the provider, as well as the general obligation to respect the rights of providers and those of other patients.

Generally known rights and obligations

The first right is, both for the patient and for the healthcare professional, to know their rights. Ten years after the passing of the law relating to the rights and obligations of the patient, the ministry noted that, according to a recent survey carried out within hospital establishments, the rights and obligations are generally known. In 2024, the COPAS Federation and its members have announced they will bring this survey to be completed in the sector of home help and care services, accommodation structures for the elderly and structures and services for people with disabilities and people in situations of need.

While the results of the FHL survey were “encouraging”, the ministry and its partners noted that the theme of patient rights and obligations will remain on the agenda for 2024 and beyond.

Events related to this will be planned in 2024 as follows:

11 and 12 December 2024 at the European Convention Center Luxembourg:

On 11 December 2024, a celebration of the tenth anniversary of the law relating to the rights and obligations of the patient will be organised in the afternoon, ahead of the national "partner patient" day. As part of a conference debate taking place at the European Convention Center, an inventory and perspectives will be discussed. The event will be co-organised by the Ministry of Health, CAPAT, FHL and the health mediation service.

On 12 December 2024, the third edition of the national “partner patient” day is set to organise a discussion between the health system stakeholders. Under the patronage of the ministry, the FHL and CAPAT invite the public to this day of reflection and co-construction of the partnership between patients and providers, which, according to the organisers, is “at the heart of the law relating to the rights and obligations of the patient”.

The conference debate on the rights and obligations of patients on 11 December and the national “partner patient” day on 12 December are aimed at patients, citizens and professionals in the health and care sector. Beyond these flagship events, several events will take place in 2024, aiming to provide information on the rights and obligations of the patient and discuss this multifaceted subject.

The health mediation service will launch a broad consultation with the Ministry of Health and Social Security in 2024 (patients, providers and experts) to collect everyone's opinions on the legal framework concerning its practice and the evolution of society. These reflections will be explored in depth during the year 2025, to subsequently allow the various stakeholders involved to consider, if necessary, an adaptation and modernisation of the legislative framework.