India adopts TB patient charter

The Indian government recently said it could not give a timeline for implementing the Patients Charter for Tuberculosis Care, but that it has been adopted at the national level.

Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare Shri Abu Hasem Khan Choudhury said that the Indian government has provided templates of the charter to different levels of the country's public health services, but that it is formally up to individual states to implement it.

Choudhury said the charter, developed by the international NGO the World Care Council, was adopted under the government's Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program.

The Patients' Charter for Tuberculosis Care was developed to aid those suffering from the illness, as well as the communities they live in. It attempts to codify the relationship between healthcare providers and TB patients as a mutually beneficial one.

The charter outlines the rights and responsibilities of those involved in the care of TB patients and the TB patients themselves. It sets out the ways in which governments, healthcare providers and communities can improve patient care and bolster the fight against TB.

The charter was developed in tandem with the International Standards for Tuberculosis Care and is supported by the principles of the World Health Organization.