Self-Advocacy Resources

Sometimes all you need is to be pointed in the right direction. HCC has compiled here key resources and links to key websites to help you navigate your way around the health system, and provide feedback to our health services.

How to prepare yourself for an appointment or admission:

  1. Make sure you know Your Healthcare Rights
  2. Support yourself to give informed consent – check this web page or listen to this podcast
  3. What should you ask? Question Builder tool – prepare for an appointment
  4. What should you ask? Five Questions to ask your doctor before you get any test or treatment (available here in 10 languages)
  5. Check out Lab Tests Online to find out about pathology tests – what they mean, what to expect, should you have the test?
  6. You can download a one page  Procedure Specific Information Sheet – if there is one for your procedure – make sure you ask your doctor for the full, four page version when you have your appointment
  7. Stay safe in hospital and receiving healthcare Top Tips to Safe Healthcare (available in 15 languages)
  8. Stay safe before, during and after a hospital admission – see the suite of Patient First materials – See also the Easy English version of Going to Hospital developed for English Language students
  9. Stay safe with your medications – see My Medicines and Me questionnaire for mental health medications

Procedure Specific Information Sheets Lite

The Procedure Specific Information Sheets Lite provide written information about your treatment. They are written by qualified and practising consultant surgeons and physicians, with input from other relevant health professionals. You can view the one page Procedure Specific Information Sheets Lite here and ask your specialist for the four page version.

If you need help with Guardianship and Administration here is a 2 page information sheet

If things don’t go well – click here for step by step of how to make a complaint

Patient Opinion

As well as seeking advocacy assistance you may want to add your complaint when service has been poor, insensitive or incompetent is a powerful way of improving the health system for yourself and others. You can help make the health system better and more responsive by contributing information from your experience of health services in Western Australia. The Patient Opinion website allows you to post your story, positive or negative, anonymously. The health service is identified but you can remain anonymous. This story is published to the website and you, and everyone else, can track its progress from your story being read, responded to, and a change made if necessary. The feedback is read by the highest level of health service management, so it is one of the most effective ways to make your voice count. If you need any assistance in posting your story, you can contact Patient Opinion by phone on 1300 662 996

You may also find these resources useful:

  1. Click here to download a Sample Complaint letter
  2. Click here to download a Freedom of Information Request Letter (Template)
  3. Click here for the Freedom of Information Contact List

Making Medical Decisions Best for Me – Choosing Wisely Questions & Informed Consent

Meditalk is a medical podcast for patients – with medical information communicated by medical professionals. In this episode, Health Consumers’ Council Executive Director Pip Brennan and Dr Matthew Anstey from Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, who is also the current chair of the Choosing Wisely Australia advisory group, talk about how important it is to be informed before you make medical decisions.

You can listen to this episode of the podcast here.

Lab Tests Online – explaining pathology

Lab tests online is the gateway for all Australians to access the information they need about pathology testing to better understand their healthcare and become partners in shared decision making with their doctors and others involved in their care.

The Health Consumers Council is working with Lab Tests Online and Curtin University to improve the health literacy landscape and help health consumers better understand their pathology results.  More information about the project can be found here.  If you would like to review the online platform and undertake a survey of your experience, you can do that here.

Choosing private health insurance

You can access unbiased free information about private health insurance at

This site is provided by the Australian Government. You can learn about health insurance, see frequently asked questions, and compare policies side by side based on your individual or family circumstances.