Commenting on the publication of the Patient Rights (Scotland) Bill, Dr Brian Keighley, Chairman of the BMA in Scotland, said:
“BMA Scotland supports the Scottish Government’s aim to encourage a stronger sense of public ownership of the NHS and the renewed commitment to provide a service which is publicly funded and owned, free at the point of delivery. As such, we welcome the commitment to articulate the rights and responsibilities of all those using and providing NHS services.
“However we believe that many of the rights and responsibilities listed in this Bill are more suited to a patients’ charter style approach and we are not convinced that it would be practical to translate these into legally binding ‘rights’. There is concern that the focus on legislative ‘rights’ could lead to a confrontational or litigious approach which could undermine the mutual nature of the NHS and hinder open, communicative relationships between patients and the NHS staff who treat them.”