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The Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights

Everyone who is seeking or receiving care in the Australian health care system has certain rights regarding the nature of that care.

These rights are outlined in the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights.

It allows patients, consumers, families, carers and healthcare providers to share an understanding of the rights of people receiving health care.

HSS is committed to the seven Charter rights as outlined below. For more information on the charter and how you can contribute to achieving healthcare rights visit www.safetyandquality.gov.au.

Access

A right to health care.

You have a fundamental right to adequate and timely health care. Sometimes this may not be at the healthcare facility you first attend as not all services are necessarily available everywhere. You can contribute to the right of access by trying to meet your appointments and telling the facility when you cannot.

Comment

A right to comment on care and having concerns addressed.

Healthcare providers want to solve problems quickly, but they need to be told about the problem first. If you have any suggestions about how services could be improved please let staff know. The procedures used by the health service organisation to comment about your care should be made available to you. You can provide verbal or written comments about the procedures and your experiences. To commend health workers, to complain about your health care and/or to be advised of the procedure of expressing concern about your care please contact your health service provider’s patient liaison representative.

Communication

A right to be informed about services, treatment, options and costs in a clear and open way.

Healthcare providers will tell you about the care you are receiving and help you understand what is happening to you. You can contribute to communication by being as open and honest as you can be. To understand the instructions given to you, you can ask questions if you would like more information. You can use interpreters if English is not your first language. Interpreter services are free and can be provided in person or by phone.

Participation

A right to be included in decisions and choices about care.

You are encouraged to participate in decisions about your care. Ask questions if you are unsure about what is happening to you. Involve your family or carer if this makes you more comfortable and sure.

Privacy

A right to privacy and confidentiality of provided information.

You are able to see your records and ask for information to be corrected if it is wrong. In some situations your health information will need to be shared between healthcare providers. You can also contribute by respecting the privacy and confidentiality of others.

Respect

A right to be shown respect, dignity and consideration.

You are entitled to receive care in a way that is respectful of your culture, beliefs, values and characteristics like age and gender. It is important to tell your healthcare provider of any changes in your circumstances. Respect also includes being mindful of healthcare staff and other patients.

Safety

A right to safe and high quality care.

If you are unsure about what is happening to you or if you think something has been missed in your care, alert your healthcare provider. Let your provider know any circumstances that might make your health care riskier.