Academic journal article Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice

Respecting Consumer Rights and Professional Ethics: Particular Aspects of the Romanian Healthcare Services

Academic journal article Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice

Respecting Consumer Rights and Professional Ethics: Particular Aspects of the Romanian Healthcare Services

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

One of the main concerns each person has is represented by his/her own health, respectively the rights he/she has as a patient. In this respect, the first international document that regards health as a right is the Constitution of the World Health Organization (1946), which states that "the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition" (Drägoi, 2010).

Also, the right to health has been included in the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" (1948, 25th article): "everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing, medical care and necessary social services." Other international agreements that refer to people's right to health and their right to have access to medical services are the "Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms" (1950), the "International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights" (1966), the "International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights" (1966) and the "European Social Charter" (1961).

Starting with 1994, the right to health has been acknowledged and promoted by the "Declaration on the Promotion of Patients' Rights in Europe" (World Health Organization, 1994). This statement has been taken over within each European state's legislation. In Romania, the statement has been expressed within the "Law for the Patient's Rights nr. 46/2003" whose standard specifications have been issued by the 386/7.04.2004 Order of the Ministry of Health of Romania. Other covenants that Romania has subscribed to are as follows: "The Ljubljana Charter on Reforming Health Care" (World Health Organization, 1996), the "Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Dignity of the Human Being with Regard to the Application of Biology and Medicine" (European Council, 1997) and the "European Charter of Patients' Rights" (2002).

All these aspects describe the great societal importance of the healthcare services. Also, enhanced by the increase of competition on the Romanian healthcare market (the more and more significant presence of private healthcare services providers), these aspects have determined an increase in the interest that the actors on this market prove for adopting the marketing view within their activity.

In accordance with the marketing view, healthcare services providers will attain their goals if they prove more efficient than their competitors in creating, providing and communicating value for the patient (customer).

2. The Importance of Holistic Marketing for Healthcare Services Providers in Romania

Although more and more healthcare services providers have adopted the marketing view in their activities, the level of attained performance indicates a reactive orientation towards the patient and his/her needs, which means the providers understand and fulfill the needs that patients express. Unfortunately these organizations (hospitals, clinics, praxis, etc) implement only low level innovations. High-end innovation is possible only if the necessary efforts to target the underlying needs of the patient do exist. Narver (2000) has named this conception proactive marketing orientation.

By placing the patient in the core of the healthcare services provider's activity, holistic marketing supports a patient centered orientation where all the functions of the provider's organization collaborate in order to answer the patient's request, to serve him/her and to offer satisfaction for the patient (Homburg, Workman, Krohmen, 1999).

By imposing an ample and integrated approach, holistic marketing allows the healthcare services providers to practice a full market orientation (both reactive and proactive orientation).

The definitive dimensions of holistic marketing for the healthcare services providers are as follows: (1) relationship marketing (external, internal and interactive), (2) integrated marketing and (3) social responsibility marketing. …

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