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Responsibilities of physicians and dental practitioners

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The principles of practising the profession of a physician and dentist have been specified in chapter 5 (Article 30 et seq.) ofthe Act of 5 December 1996 on professions of doctor and dentist.

The physician in particular:

  • is obliged to provide medical assistance in all cases when the delay in doing so could cause the risk of death and heavy bodily injuries or severe health disorders,
  • is obliged to provide the patient or their statutory representative with straightforward information about their health condition, examination, suggested and possible diagnostic and treatment methods along with the foreseeable consequences of their application or omission, results of treatment and prognoses,
  • may carry out tests or provide other health services, having obtained the patient’s consent. Conducting investigation or providing the patient with other health services without their consent is allowed only if it requires immediate medical assistance and when the patient cannot express their consent owing to their state of health or age and there is no possibility of contacting their statutory representative or de facto carer,
  • may perform surgery or apply a method of treatment or diagnosis that increases the risk for the patient, having obtained their prior written consent,
  • is obliged to respect the patient’s intimacy and personal dignity when providing health services. The physician is also obliged to ensure that the medical staff complies with the above principle when treating the patient,
  • is obliged to keep confidential any information associated with the patient and obtained in the course of practising the profession,
  • states the health condition of a given person after prior examination performed in person.

A physician may refer to the Conscience Clause, i.e. refrain from providing medical services which are inconsistent with their conscience (unless the delay in providing such medical assistance could cause the risk of death and heavy bodily injuries or severe health disorders), provided that they indicate the possibility of obtaining the same service from a different doctor or a medicinal entity, as well as justify and register this fact in the patient’s medical history.

Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health is an office of government administration serving the Minister of Health.

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