Your Rights and Responsibilities

NSW Health endorses the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights. These are:

Access - the right to receive health care regardless of gender, marital status, disability, culture, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, age or where you live in NSW.

Safety - the right to safe and high quality care.

Respect - the right to be treated with respect, dignity and consideration. We ask that you show this courtesy to others.

Communication - the right to be informed about services, treatment and options in a clear and open way.

Participation - the right to be included in decisions and choices about your health care. You also have the right to decline services. If you leave the hospital premises without our consent you will be required to sign a form as you are responsible for any injury or illness caused or made worse by your own actions.

Privacy - the right to privacy and confidentiality regarding personal information. You have the right to speak to a healthcare worker about the information we have in your medical record.

You can also request a copy of your medical record.

Comment - the right to comment on care and have your concerns addressed. Throughout your visit, health care providers will discuss treatment plans with you. This includes use of other services and when you will leave hospital.

More information on your rights and responsibilities

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Brochures

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We ask that you give us as much information as possible about your health, including: allergies, medical conditions or disabilities. Please tell us which medicines or remedies you are using and whether you smoke, drink alcohol or use recreational drugs.

And tell us:

  • About any changes to your condition and any reactions during treatment
  • If you are being treated for the same problem by someone else
  • If you do not understand any of your tests or treatments
  • If you have any specific religious or cultural needs
  • If you want to be treated as a private patient
  • If you have made a decision not to follow treatment advice and not attend appointments.

Many people are involved in your care, and we need to make sure you are receiving the correct treatment. Just to be sure we will ask you a few times to tell us:

  • Your name

  • Your date of birth

  • Why you are here.

Don’t be alarmed by these questions. This is how the staff makes sure they have your correct details. If you are admitted or receiving treatment as a day patient, you will be required to wear an arm band with your personal details.

You must give consent before receiving treatment. In most cases this will be verbal consent. Written consent is required for some procedures, such as surgery. You have the right to withhold consent. In this case you will not receive treatment. If you are unconscious or too ill to give consent yourself, a relative, carer or other person close to you will be asked to give consent for any necessary treatment. If this person is unavailable the Guardianship Tribunal can give consent. In a life-threatening emergency where you are too ill or unconscious, giving your consent is not required.