1. Your Healthcare Rights

Your legal rights as a health consumer are based on two basic rights:

  1. The right to give or withhold your informed consent to treatment.
  2. The right to receive competent care from health service providers.

You have the right to:

  • Be treated with care, consideration and decency
  • Clear explanations and information
  • Ask questions about the service, any proposed procedures, and its risks, benefits and alternative treatments
  • Be given time to understand the information provided
  • Be informed about the costs of treatment(s)
  • Be informed if the procedure is experimental or part of research
  • Ask for a second opinion
  • Choose a health care establishment
  • Give informed consent about treatment and withdraw consent at any time
  • Appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf if you cannot make those decisions yourself
  • Leave the hospital at any time – except in the case of some infectious diseases or psychiatric conditions
  • Confidentiality of personal records
  • Complain if you are not happy
  • Redress in the event of injury
  • Have access to your medical records
  • Have the right to an interpreter
  • tell us about your illnesses and hospital visits, symptoms, medications, allergies and other health related matters
  • tell us about any religious or cultural beliefs and requirements
  • treat all people you meet in the health service (staff, volunteers, patients, their families) with care, dignity and consideration
  • ask questions and talk to your family before making any decisions about your health care if relevant
  • follow staff instructions regarding your treatment and care
  • be on time for appointments and let your health service know if you need to cancel or reschedule, and notify us if your contact details change
  • respect the confidentiality and privacy of others.


Further information:

The Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights in multiple languages

Video animation on the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights in English

Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights Auslan video

Consent to Medical Treatment

Patient rights in mental health