Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights

Access, Safety, Respect, Partnership, Information, Privacy, Feedback

Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights

Access, Safety, Respect, Partnership, Information, Privacy, Feedback

The Charter describes what consumers, or someone they care for, can expect 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 and other community health services.

The first edition of the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights was endorsed by health ministers in 2008. The second edition was launched in August 2019.

It was developed by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care together with consumers, health service staff and policy-makers.

The Charter reflects the NSW Health focus on elevating the human experience and the responsibility of health service staff to ensure that consumers or someone they care for are aware of their healthcare rights.

In 2023, Health Consumers NSW together with the Commission produced the Patient Power Podcast which is based on the Charter. Have a listen HERE.

The rights are:

  • ACCESS – Healthcare services and treatments that meet my needs.
  • SAFETY – Receive safe and high-quality health care that meets national standards. Be cared for in an environment that is safe and makes me feel safe.
  • RESPECT – Be treated as an individual, and with dignity and respect. Have my culture, identity, beliefs and choices recognised and respected.
  • PARTNERSHIP – Ask questions and be involved in open and honest communication. Make decisions with my healthcare provider. I am able to choose. Include the people that I want in planning and decision-making.
  • INFORMATION – Clear information about my condition, the possible benefits and risks of different tests and treatments, so I can give my informed consent. Receive information about services, waiting times and costs. Get assistance, when needed, to help me understand and use health information. Access my health information. Be told if something went wrong during my health care, how it happened, how it may affect me and what is being done to make care safe.
  • PRIVACY – Have my personal privacy respected. Have information about me and my health kept secure and confidential.
  • GIVE FEEDBACK – Provide feedback or make a complaint without it affecting the way that I am treated. Have my concerns addressed in a transparent and timely way. Share my experience and participate to improve the quality of care and health services.

Find out more about the Charter and download resources: