Patient's record - Personal health booklet

20 October, 2021

Dear Neil and friends, I touch again the point of personal health booklet (PHB) to record details of medical contact. Dr. Fitton shouldn't be left alone in his commitment.

In Africa access to digital record is still not easy, however to obtain from doctors the writing of it on the patient's booklet is possible, feasible, advisable.

Health and disease 'belong' to the patient, he/she has the Right to know and retain what has been found on him/her. The same as for an engineer/architect that build a house: he has to consign all details of the drawing,bill of quantity, final consignment of the building.

If the house will collapse all written documents will testify the truth, black on white.

For doctors transparency and deontology are at stake.

Doctors may fear legal repercussions if they are 'too open' in writings, however it should be the contrary: hiding information is ground for more legal speculations and action.

PHB is a concrete example of how to responsibilize patients on their health, something that we doctors want much.

PHB is a measure to minimize the 'magical' (and therefore fallacious) approach to the disease by doctors, it is preferred the one based on Medicine, Cochrane-evidence medicine and therapeutical guidelines.

PHB is democratic and ethical, we all are equal in front of health/ill health. There is not such a professor-magician that writes down 'special drugs'(which ones after all), instead there is Medicine that should prevail, based on rules/laws that we doctors studied in school.


Massimo Serventi

HIFA profile: Massimo Serventi is a long-standing Pediatrician working in Africa since 1982. He has worked for several NGOs in 6 African/2 Asian countries. His interests include clinical and community pediatrics, adherence to clinical guidelines and school education as the major determinant of good health. massimoser20 AT