On March 10 of 2016, the Legislative Assembly approved the Law of Duties and Rights for Patients and Providers of Health Services, which was published in Official Gazette dated April 8, the law aims to regulate and guarantee the rights and duties of patients receiving or applying for health services in the public or private sector and autonomous institutions, such as the Social Security Institute of El Salvador.

  1. The Ministry of Health is the governing body for the enforcement of the Law. Some of the regulated activities are: 
  2. Timely, efficient and quality care.
  3. Equal treatment, without any discrimination of race, sex, religion, age and economic, social, political and ideological condition.
  4. Timely information issued by the health professional in verbal and oral form, which should include: 
    1. full name of the health service provider and its registration number in the Supervisory Board, 
    2. diagnosis, treatment, alternatives, risks,
    3. estimated time in case of hospitalization and treatment,
    4. chances of success, risks and consequences of refusing or stopping a treatment, 
    5. in the private sphere the patient is entitled to know estimated costs of hospitalization, treatments and medical fees.
  5. Any health care procedure shall be agreed between the patient or his representative and the health service provider, which shall be in writing and signed by both, in the form approved for the purpose.
  6. Patients, family or representative shall be entitled to make suggestions, inquiries and complaints they deem appropriate. 
  7. Confidentiality of patient information. 

The application of sanctions for the breach or violation of this law will be in charge of the Supervisory Board of the professions and the Superior Council of Public Health, through the creation of the Office of Complaints , who will receive the corresponding complaints of patients, relatives, legal representatives and health professionals who consider that their rights have been violated. Also, the Supervisory Board will be in charge of instructing the punitive administrative procedures determined by the competent bodies.

The sanctions to be imposed depends on the severity of the action, can be from written warnings added to the file of the Professional Supervisory Board correspondent, and the patient's file, as appropriate to fines equivalents from one to twenty minimum monthly wages of the commercial sector and suspension of the professional practice from one month to five years.

The law took effect on April 21.