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Your Rights & Your Responsibilities

Patients' main Rights

The consumer of health services has the right to:

  • decide whether or not to undergo medical treatment after receiving a reasonable and timely explanation of what the treatment involves and the risks associated with the treatment

  • be treated with reasonable care and skill by the health care provider

  • have medical information and treatment kept confidential.


Other rights


The consumer of health services also has the right to:

  • access health services appropriate to their needs

  • withdraw consent at any time

  • refuse experimental or research treatment

  • obtain a second opinion

  • leave a hospital at any time (except in the cases of infectious diseases or certain psychiatric conditions) - if the patient leaves without the hospital's consent the patient may be responsible for any injury or illness caused or aggravated by this action

  • be treated with care, consideration and dignity, and without discrimination

  • access abortions and late-term abortions (beyond 22 weeks 6 days pregnant), see Abortions

  • safety, well being, privacy and dignity whilst accessing abortion services, see Abortions - Safe Access Zones

  • consent or refuse to consent to the use of restrictive practices in aged care, or have a substitute decision maker provide such consent or refusal (Quality of Care Principles 2014 s 15FA)

  • be consulted on the use of restrictive practice by providers under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (see Restrictive practices by registered NDIS providers)

  • be fully informed of the costs of any medical procedure proposed, including any further costs associated with rehabilitation.

  • request medical files from the doctor or hospital (public hospital records can be accessed under the Freedom of Information Act 1991 (SA), and some records held by private doctors or hospitals can be accessed under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), see Obtaining medical records

  • obtain legal advice about any matter arising from the treatment (at the patient's own cost)

  • contact friends, relatives, solicitors, members of the clergy and so on for support and to discuss problems

  • exercise any of these rights on behalf of a child or ward if he or she is the parent or guardian

  • ask to stay with a child at all times except where separation is necessary for medical reasons

  • inform nursing staff if he or she does not want to see, or speak to, a visitor or caller

  • complain about their treatment and have their complaint dealt with appropriately.


Your Responsibilities

Consumers of health services have a responsibility to:

  • know and disclose their own medical history including medications taken

  • keep appointments or advise those concerned if they are unable to do so

  • inform the doctor if they are receiving treatment from another health professional

  • pay for any services and products received as a private patient (unless private health insurance covers them excluding out of pocket gaps)

  • conduct themselves in a manner which will not interfere with the well being or rights of other patients and staff.

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