General rights of patients in hospital
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As a patient it is important to know your rights. This means understanding what services, support and information you are entitled to in hospital.
A list of your rights as a patient
- To receive free public hospital services as a public patient.
- To receive treatment based on your health needs and not how much money you have or if you have insurance
- To have access to public hospital services regardless of where you live in Australia.
- To be treated with respect and compassion. This includes keeping your information private and respecting where you come from and your needs and wishes.
- To participate fully in the decisions about your care. This includes admission to hospital, discharge and arrangements for continuing care.
- To ask for and receive a clear explanation of the proposed treatment. This includes any risk to you and other options for treatment. It is important that you understand this before you agree to the treatment.
- To seek a second medical opinion. This means to ask another doctor to review your treatment first.
- To give your informed consent before a procedure is carried out. This includes giving your permission to allow student medical staff to be involved in your treatment or being part of medical research.
- To withdraw your consent or refuse further treatment.
- To have access to information contained in your medical record.
- To expect that information about your hospital care will be confidential unless the law allows otherwise.
- To receive interpreter services. This is a person that can help explain things to you if you find it difficult to understand.
If you have any concerns about your rights, please contact us.
How to enjoy better health care
- Provide information to help health care professionals give you appropriate advice.
- Consider any decisions about your care seriously. Ask questions if you want more information.
- Follow all directions of your treatment including taking medication. Please tell your doctor if you won't follow the treatment plan.
- Conduct yourself in an appropriate way so as not to interfere with the well-being or rights of other patients and health care staff.
- It is important to be involved in decisions regarding your treatment and health. This means expressing your wishes and needs.
- Your illness and various treatment options should be discussed with you. This gives you information to say yes or no to treatment if you wish.
- You may refuse to have any tests, examination procedure or treatment at any time.
- If you do refuse, you should be given details of the likely or potential outcome of your refusal. If you refuse you cannot hold others responsible for the outcome.
- You may discharge yourself from the hospital at any time.