Your rights when accessing healthcare

When accessing healthcare in the Northern Territory (NT), you have certain rights under the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights.

These rights help to make sure you get the best treatment.

It describes what you (or someone you care for) can expect from staff at any healthcare facility you visit.

All staff must treat you this way including nurses, doctors, cleaners, food staff and reception staff.

For more information about your rights, read below.

If you don’t understand your rights, you can talk to staff at any healthcare facility.

Your rights include access to all healthcare services, such as:

  • facilities - including hospitals, doctor clinics, dentists and community health centres
  • treatments - including advice from doctors and specialists, medical tests, medicines and surgeries.

Your rights include feeling safe when receiving healthcare:

  • that is right for you
  • in a safe space
  • that makes you feel safe.

Your rights include being treated with respect and in a fair way that aligns with your:

  • choices
  • culture (how you think and what you do)
  • identity (who you are)
  • beliefs (things you think).

Your rights include being involved in your care when you want to be.

This means you can:

  • ask questions
  • make decisions with your healthcare provider
  • get help to make decisions when needed
  • include people you want in your healthcare, like family and friends
  • choose which healthcare provider helps you.

Your rights include access to information about you and your health.

You also have the right to:

  • get help to understand information about your health, like an interpreter
  • get information about:
    • places you need to go for your healthcare
    • how to get there
    • if there are any waiting times and
    • if it will cost you anything.

When you’re given information about your health, it helps you decide what to do.

For example, you will be told the good and bad things that might happen from treatments and tests so you can decide ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

Your rights include making sure any treatments you receive are in private (if you want them to be).

This includes keeping:

  • your healthcare information safe and confidential
  • information away from anyone who shouldn’t see it.

You have the right to tell us what you think about the services you have received and the way you have been treated.

This can be a:

  • compliment - if you’re happy with a staff member or treatment you’ve received
  • complaint - if a healthcare provider or facility may have done something that you didn’t like, or made you feel bad
  • suggestion - if you want to give ideas for changing things.

Feedback is encouraged as it can help make services and the care you get better for everyone.

To give feedback or to make a complaint online, go to the Department of Health website.

You can also fill in a feedback form when you’re at any healthcare facility.

Last updated: 05 November 2020

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