The Human Rights Court in Accra will, on July 29, 2010, decide whether or not patients have a right to their medical records.

The court fixed the date following a motion on •notice for medical records which was filed on behalf of Mrs Elizabeth Vaah, who dragged the Lister Hospital and, Fertility Centre to the court for the release of her medical records.

Although the hospital opposed the application at the onset, it later released the records but Mrs Vaah is praying it to rule on the matter in order to set precedence.

In the substantive motion, Mrs Vaah is seeking a declaration that a patient is entitled to his/her medical records within the custody of a health service institution, subject only to the payment of reasonable fees for the production of the record and any other limitations as recognised by law, and notwithstanding that the patient made statements in the public media.

Citing legal authorities to support his client’s claims, Mr Tuinese Edward Amuzu, said he was of the view that Ghanaians and other nationals need not go to court before they could have access to their medical records.

The grounds set out by the applicant included the fact that she had been delivered of a fresh still baby at the hospital on March 9, 2010 and a post mortem examination stated that the pathologist was not sure of what caused the multiple organ haemorrhage of her baby.

According to the applicant, she intended to have another baby in future and would, therefore, need her medical records to put at the disposal of any doctor who might attend to her in Ghana or outside the country.

Responding to the applicant’s motion, counsel for the Lister Hospital, Mr Victor Kwadjoga Adawudti, said the hospital was not against the motion because it recognised the right of patients to their medical records.

Counsel, however, expressed the fear that patients might doctor their medical records for selfish gains if they had access to them.

Source: Daily Graphic