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Health consumers

Your healthcare rights

If you are not satisfied with a service provided by a health service provider, or you are concerned with the health, conduct or performance of a registered or unregistered health practitioner, then it is your right to make a complaint.

The Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights (PDF, 117KB) describes the rights of everyone using the Australian health system. These rights are essential to make sure that, wherever and whenever healthcare is provided, it is safe and of high quality.

Guiding principles

  • Everyone has the right to be able to access healthcare and this right is essential for the Charter to be meaningful.
  • The Australian Government commits to international agreements about human rights which recognise  everyone’s right to have the highest possible standard of physical and mental health.
  • Australia is a society made up of people with different cultures and ways of life, and the Charter acknowledges  and respects these differences.

Healthcare rights

Access – I have a right to healthcare
I can access services to address my healthcare needs.

Safety – I have a right to receive safe and high quality care
I receive safe and high quality health services, provided with professional care, skill and competence.

Respect – I have a right to be shown respect, dignity and consideration
The care provided shows respect to me and my culture, beliefs, values and personal characteristics.

Communication – I have the right to be informed about services, treatment, options and costs in a clear and open way
I receive open, timely and appropriate communication about my healthcare in a way I can understand.

Participation – I have a right to be included in decisions and choices about my care
I may join in making decisions and choices about my care and about health service planning.

Privacy – I have a right to privacy and confidentiality of my personal information
My personal privacy is maintained and proper handling of my personal health and other information is assured.

Comment – I have a right to comment on my care and to have my concerns addressed
I can comment on or complain about my care and have my concerns dealt with properly and promptly.

More information

For more information visit the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care website.

What can I complain about?