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Patient Rights and Responsibilities

Patient Rights and Responsibilities

As a patient of SMMC, you have the right, consistent with the law, to:

  1. Be informed and understand your rights at the earliest possible moment. If for any reason you do not understand or you need help, SMMC will provide assistance, including an interpreter.
  2. Considerate, respectful, dignified care given by competent personnel in accordance with your personal values and beliefs. SMMC will respond to requests for spiritual and/or religious observance.
  3. Be introduced to all health care personnel providing and coordinating your care. SMMC staff will visibly wear their ID badge at all times.
  4. Receive clear and complete information in layman’s terms about your diagnosis, treatment and prognosis (incl. pain management treatment, benefits and risks).  
  5. Consideration of your privacy concerning your own medical care. This includes the right to;

    - Upon request and if available, have a same-sex treating physician and/or nurse;
    - Have a person present during certain parts of a physical examination, treatment or procedure performed by a health professional of the opposite sex, as long as this does not interfere with the care provision;
    - Not remain disrobed for any longer than is required for accomplishing the medical purpose;
    - Wear appropriate personal clothing or religious or other symbolic items, as long as they do not interfere with diagnostic procedures or treatments;
    - Request a transfer to another room (if possible) if another patient or visitor in the room is unreasonably disturbing you;
    - Request to be placed in protective privacy when considered necessary for personal safety.

  6. Formulate an Advance Directive. An Advance Directive is a legal document that informs your health care provider (s) and loved ones what kind of health care you want or who you want to make decisions for you when you are unable to do so. SMMC will honor written Advance Directives, except where it is in conflict with the professional standards or the law. An Advance Directive is not a requirement to receive care at SMMC, but highly advised.
  7. Receive your medical records pertaining to your medical care and treatment confidentially.
  8. File a complaint about your medical care, treatment, or other concerns, by using the complaint form and submitting it via the yellow drop box, website or email. For any questions, please contact the Complaint Officer via the Secretariat:

    St. Maarten Medical Center
     Welgelegen Road 30
     Cay Hill, Sint Maarten
    +1-721-543-1111 ext. 2500

  9. You are entitled to a copy of the SMMC complaint policy for the initiation, review and resolution of your complaints.
  10. Assistance if you are terminally ill, your family can expect assistance in preparing for supportive comfort care measures.
  11. Receive timely emergency care if you need it.
  12. Quality and safe care under professional standards that are continually maintained and reviewed.
  13. Refuse information, medications, care, or treatment or procedure offered by SMMC to the extent permitted by law. The physician will inform you of the medical consequences by refusal and provide you with a ‘Release from Liability for Discharge and/or Refusal of Treatment form’.

  14. Receive all medical and nursing care without discrimination defined by SMMC standards and by law.

  15. Receive a detailed explanation of your medical bill and/or counseling concerning the ability to pay your bill.

  16. Be transferred to another facility when medically possible. Beforehand, you or your appointed representative will receive a full explanation for the need of such a transfer. The institution to which you are being transferred must first have accepted you before physically being transferred.

  17. Expect SMMC to provide discharge instructions whereby you are informed of your continuing health care requirements upon discharge and the means for meeting them.

  18. Access persons outside of the hospital by means of visitors and by verbal and/or written communication. SMMC reserves the right to limit or cancel visiting hours pending any disaster or other emergency situation such as a pandemic.

  19. Be free of any form of restraint (physical, chemical (medications), or environmental) used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation by staff and is not medically necessary.

  20. Privacy and to receive care in a safe setting, free from all forms of abuse or harassment, especially vulnerable patients such as infants, children, the elderly and comatose patients.

  21. Expect that your possessions will be safeguarded when you are unable to assume that responsibility or when you request in writing for SMMC to safeguard your possessions, in line with SMMC’s policy.

As a patient of SMMC, your responsibilities are:

  1. To actively participate in decisions regarding your health care.
  2. To provide your Advance Directive, if available, as soon as possible at registration or admission.
  3. To provide information about past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications and other matters related to your health history in order to effectively treat your current illness. You are expected to report unexpected changes in your condition to your medical provider.
  4. To cooperate with SMMC personnel and ask questions if directions and/or procedures are not clearly understood.
  5. Respect SMMC’s Code of Conduct and House rules.
  6. To be non-discriminatory and respectful to SMMC staff and fellow patients. You are expected to be considerate and assist in the control of noise and the number of visitors in your room at all times.
  7. To take financial responsibility for payment of all services rendered and not covered by insurance policies. Payment is expected when services are rendered.
  8. To not consume any medications, alcoholic beverages or toxic substances, during your visit to SMMC, which complicate or risk the healing process.

Pediatric Rights and Responsibilities for families

Pediatric Rights:

  1. Staff will welcome you and your family to SMMC, because you are the most important person to your child. You have to inform staff of your child’s symptoms, treatments, medicines, and other past medical/surgical history.
  2. Staff will provide a place for at least one family member to spend the night with your child.
  3. You can choose to stay with your child during most medical treatments.
  4. Staff will think of your child as a child first and not just a child with a medical condition.
  5. Staff will treat you and your child with courtesy and respect, such as knocking on your door before entering.
  6. Staff will introduce themselves and they will explain their role in your child’s care.
  7. Staff will attempt to contact you before your child is moved and if not possible to reach you, a close relative or friend will be notified (contact information needs to be provided and recorded in the medical file).
  8. Staff will discuss medical and non-medical information about your child in a private setting.
  9. The information that you share with staff will be kept confidential.
  10. Staff only discuss/talks about your child when you and/or your partner are present unless a discussion is being held between the physicians and/or nurses.
  11. Staff will treat your child and family with respect at all times (verbally and in writing).
  12. Staff will respect the psychological, spiritual, and cultural variables that influence your unique perspective of illness.

Pediatric Responsibilities:

  1. It is important for you to tell staff about what you want concerning your child’s healthcare, how you want to be a part of the treatment of your child and if there are uncertainties.
  2. Help staff get to know your child. Staff can learn from you regarding what is best for your family and they will take time to listen.
  3. You and the members of your health care team work together to plan your child’s care. You are responsible for doing the things you agree to do in this plan of care. If you are unable to follow the plan, please inform us.
  4. Your family is expected to respect the rights of other children, families and hospital personnel. Please observe the following guidelines:
    -If other children are visiting, we ask that they are supervised at all times;
    -In the event that you need to leave the hospital, please advise nursing and leave a number where you can be reached.




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  •  Phone : +1 721 543 1111
  •  Email :
  •  Fax : +1 721 543 0116
  •  Address : Welgelegen road 30 Unit 1
  •  Address : Cay Hill, St Maarten

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