Health Care Rights

Health Care Rights

Everyone in Australia who is seeking or receiving health care has certain rights under the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights.

The Charter describes what consumers, or carers, are entitled to when receiving health care.

These rights apply to all people in all places where health care is provided in Australia. This includes public and private hospitals, day procedure services, general practice, allied health services (e.g. physiotherapist, dietitian, podiatrist) and other community health services.

You have the right to:

  1. Access – access to healthcare services that meet your needs
  2. Safety – receive safe and high-quality care
  3. Respect – be treated with dignity and respect
  4. Partnership – be included in decisions and choices about your care
  5. Information – be informed about services, treatment options and costs in a clear and open way
  6. Privacy – have your privacy respected and the information you provide kept confidential
  7. Feedback – comment on care and have your concerns addressed.

You can find a copy of the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights here.

You can find more detailed information on the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care website.

The Code of Conduct for Health Care Workers

The Code of Conduct for Health Care Workers tells you what you should expect from all health care workers in the ACT. Registered health professionals and some allied health professionals also have codes of conduct set by their professional body, such as the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra).

A health care worker is anyone who provides a service in the ACT to someone for any of these purposes:

  1. assessing, recording, maintaining or improving the physical, mental or emotional health, comfort or wellbeing of the service user;
  2. diagnosing or treating an illness, disability, disorder or condition of the service user.

Some examples are massage therapists, Chinese medicine practitioners, nutritionists, doulas, disability care workers, aged care workers and counsellors.

Under the Code of Conduct:

Health workers must:Health workers must not:
  • Provide safe and ethical health care
  • Get your consent for treatment
  • Keep good records and protect your privacy
  • Minimise harm and take action if something goes wrong
  • Have the right insurance
  • Co-operate with your other health practitioners
  • Mislead you about their work or qualifications
  • Put you at risk because of their own health problems
  • Practice when using drugs or alcohol
  • Make false claims about curing serious illnesses like cancer
  • Take advantage of you financially
  • Tell you not to see other health practitioners

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Last Updated on 11 January, 2024.