Your Healthcare Rights

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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

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