Physicians, nurses and employees at Maria Middelares General Hospital make every effort to provide professional services. Unfortunately, things sometimes do not go according to plan. We recommend that you first discuss this directly with the physician, nurse or employee involved. It may be that, with a small effort on their part, they can meet your expectations, respond to your comment or resolve a misunderstanding. Are you unable to find a solution together? Do you prefer to report your concerns in person and in confidence? Or are you not sure who to direct your concerns to? In that case, contact the ombudsman.

The ombudsman listens, informs and advises patients and their families

What can the ombudsman do for you?

What can the ombudsman do for you?

The ombudsman helps patients and their families who have a question or experience a problem with the services of the hospital or one if its employees. The ombudsman listens to you and works with you to find the best possible solution for your issue. The ombudsman is neutral and impartial and has a purely mediating role.

Did you know that you can also contact the ombudsman with compliments and suggestions? This enables us to retain what is good and continually strive for improvement.

Contact the ombudsman

Contact the ombudsman

You can book an appointment for a personal conversation:

The ombudsman can be contacted on weekdays from 9am to 12pm and from 2pm to 5pm.

You will find the ombudsman’s office on the second floor of the west wing (through gate A, toward the Delivery Unit) of the Maria Middelares General Hospital in Ghent.

Patient rights - FAQs

Patient rights - FAQs

As a hospital, we would like to assure our patients that they will receive Compassionate Care. It is important to us that every employee and physician respects your rights as a patient.

Please see below for an overview of many of the most common questions. We formulate a concrete response and also link to the patient right in question. In addition, we would also like to highlight the role of a confidant or representative for (older) patients.

Right to quality service

As a patient, you receive the best possible care. With their (medical) expertise and available technologies, our care providers treat you in accordance with your needs and wishes. Social class, sexual orientation and religion do not influence your care in any way.

Your treatment includes all care meant to prevent, treat and alleviate physical and psychological pain.

Employees will ask you regularly for your full name and date of birth. That is not because they are forgetful, but rather because they want to ensure patient safety. Consider it an extra check to be sure that the right care is being provided to the right patient at the right moment.

Right to free choice of professional

You are, in principle, free to choose your care provider. That means that you can always see a physician at a (different) hospital. The physician can review your medical records using e-health. You can also ask your current physician for a copy of your medical records.

The free choice of professional may be limited by the law or by circumstances that are particular to an organisation(e.g. if, for example, only one specialist is present at the hospital).

Every care provider also has the right to refuse to see you as a patient. In the event of an emergency, there is, of course, an obligation to provide care. If the care provider stops treating you, please be assured that a colleague will provide you with follow-up care.

Right to information about your medical condition

Your care provider shares all information with you so that you can understand your medical condition. You will receive information about how your medical condition could evolve, even if it could possibly be a negative evolution. If the care provider suggests a treatment or procedure, you, as the patient, will also receive an explanation about the possible risks and complications, about which arguments there against having the procedure performed (e.g. contraindications) and financial consequences. You will receive, in understandable language, advice about how you might best proceed (or not).

Right to information about your medical condition

As the parent or guardian of a minor child, you will receive information about your child's medical condition. The care provider will involve the child, though always with consideration for his or her age and maturity. As soon as a child is in a position to have good insight into the situation, he or she will be able to express what is important to him or her (this usually starts at age 14-16). In that case, you, as parent or guardian, may not request information about your child's medical condition without your child's knowledge and consent.

Right to information about your medical condition

If you, as a patient, do not wish to know whether, for example, you are a carrier of an incurable disease, then it is important to tell your care provider that you do not want information about your medical condition. The case manager will make a note of that in your medical record. If necessary, you can name a person you trust to whom information about your medical condition may be communicated. The care provider will also make a note in your medical record, identifying the person you have designated.

If not sharing information presents a serious challenge to your health or to that of other people (e.g. in the case of an infectious disease), the case manager is not obligated to adhere to your wish to not know. Before disclosing the information to you, your health care provider must consult another case manager in advance and hear from any designated confidant.

The right to informed consent.

Your care provider needs your oral or written consent (e.g. informed consent) in order to start a treatment or to perform a procedure. As a patient, you can only give your informed consent if you are informed about the purpose of the treatment or intervention, its nature, degree of urgency, duration, how often you will have to undergo the treatment, the relevant contraindications, side effects and risks associated with the intervention, aftercare, possible alternatives and financial consequences.

On the website, you will find information about the convention status on the individual physician web pages. In the welcome leaflet, you can read about the consequences of choosing a single or multiple room. Always check with your own hospitalisation insurance company about possible insurer involvement and reimbursement.

The right to informed consent

Are you, as a patient, no longer able to express your consent? Your rights are represented according to a waterfall system (e.g. if the first person is not present, then the next in line will be contacted).

  1. You have designated a representative in advance to exercise your rights as a patient if you are no longer able to do so yourself.
  2. If you have not appointed a representative, the patients' rights are exercised by your administrator (appointed by the Justice of the Peace).
  3. If there is no authorised trustee, then the health care provider will have to turn to your family for informed consent (in the order from 4 to 7):
  4. The co-habitating spouse, legal or de-facto co-habitating partner.
  5. An adult child
  6. A parent
  7. An adult brother or sister
  8. If there are no family members or if no family members wish to be involved, the care provider will take your interests under consideration.

You can also draw up an advance directive in which you express your refusal to consent to a certain intervention or treatment.

Right to a carefully maintained patient record / to be assured of privacy protection:

As a patient, you have the right to medical records that are carefully maintained and securely stored. In addition to general information, the patient's medical record contains all medical information about you as a patient. You always have the right to inspect your medical record or to obtain a copy. You do need to submit a request.

If a patient dies, the family may not request a copy of the medical record afterwards. The records may be inspected by a health care provider only at the request of close relatives up to and including those of second degree kinship, insofar as the patient has not opposed it during his or her lifetime. What this means: as a family member, you need to contact a health care provider to view the deceased person's medical record at the hospital. Thus, there is no direct access by a family member allowed.

See here for more detailed information.

Right to pain management

As a patient, you have the right to pain management that is as effective as possible. You may also request palliative care.

Right to mediation of complaints

Despite all the good care and efforts made, it may happen that, as a patient or family member, you are not satisfied with certain aspects of the care provided.

In this case, please discuss your comments, questions or complaints as soon as possible directly with the health care provider involved. Have you not received a satisfactory response or did your conversation not have the desired outcome?

In that case, please contact the ombudsperson

Rules of Order

Rules of Order

Would you like to know more about how we work? See below for the ombudsman's internal regulations.

Only available in Dutch: