Skip navigation

Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights

The Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights was developed by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health in 2007 and 2008. The Charter was developed with extensive and widespread consultation and specifies the key rights of patients and consumers when seeking or receiving healthcare services. In July 2008, Australian Health Ministers endorsed the Charter as the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights for use across the country.


The Charter applies to all health settings anywhere in Australia, including public hospitals, private hosptials, general practice and other community environments. It allows patients, consumers, families, carers and service providers to have a common understanding of the rights of people receiving health care.


For Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District (NBMLHD), the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights replaces the 'Rights and Responsibilities' documents previously used by the District.


The Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights include the following seven 'rights':



A right to health care

Access is enhanced when the best and most appropriate care is provided to a patient or consumer, including using other facilities if needed. Being mindful of the whole of treatment needs of the patient, such as continuing treatment and out of hours services, also contributes to achieving the right of access.


A right to safe and high quality care

Safety is addressed by being alert to patient or consumer needs, ensuring patients or consumers understand the treatment they are to receive and by participating in existing patient safety systems.


A right to be shown respect, dignity and consideration

Respect means that all participants are mindful of a patient's or consumers' environment and background, and providing health care and advice that is appropriate to the patient's or consumer's needs.


A right to be informed about services, treatment, options and costs in a clear and open way

Communication is enhanced if healthcare providers ensure that the patient or consumer understands the information being provided to them and by being alert to signs of confusion or misunderstanding by the patient or consumer and/or carers. Wherever practical, healthcare providers should make sure arrangements are made to meet patient or consumer language and communication needs.


A right to be included in decisions and choices about care

Participation by patients in their health care is encouraged by engaging the patient or consumer and/or carers in discussions about treatment options. This includes informing patients and consumers of their right to refuse or withdraw consent at any time and inviting patients and consumers to consent for care or treatment that is experimental or part of teaching or research.

Healthcare providers should be alert to a patient's or consumer's circumstances and consider these circumstances when providing care.


A right to privacy and confidentiality of provided information

Privacy requires that all participants be sensitive to the privacy needs of patients or consumers and by ensuring that patient information is only shared with other appropriate health professionals.


A right to comment on care and having concerns addressed

The opportunity to comment is important and enhanced by being attentive to the concerns of patients or consumers and/or carers and encouraging them to engage in two way communication. Patients, consumers and/or carers should be helped to articulate their concerns and be informed of comment options available to them.

Healthcare providers should facilitate the efficient and equitable resolution of complaints by participating in organisational processes and should also look for improvements in health care provision as an outcome from interactions with patients, consumers, their carers and their families.

Roles in Realising the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights

This document is designed to provide a simple explanation of each right included in the Charter and provide information about how patients and consumers, healthcare providers and health service organisations can contribute to the realisation of patients' rights.

Information for Patients

A guide for patients, consumers, carers and families (English)

This brochure discusses each of the seven Charter rights and provides some guidance to patients, consumers, carers and families on ways they can contribute to ensuring that the rights are upheld.

Audio of the Australian Healthcare Rights is also available.


The brochure is also available in the following languages; please print as required.




Friday, 18 August 2017 3:44:36 PM