Women's Health and Equality Queensland


Advocating for yourself


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Violence Against Women



Your rights in the healthcare system

It can be scary or challenging to make sure you receive the best healthcare and treatment for yourself. The first step is understanding what your rights are in the healthcare system.

The Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights describes what you can expect when receiving healthcare.

You have a right to:

  • Access to healthcare services and treatment that meets your needs.
  • Be cared for in an environment that is safe and makes you feel safe.
  • Receive safe and high quality healthcare that meets national standards.
  • Be treated as an individual, and with dignity and respect.
  • Have your culture, identity, beliefs, and choices recognised and respected.
  • Ask questions and be involved in open and honest communication.
  • Make decisions with your healthcare provider, to the extent that you choose and are able to.
  • Include the people that you want in planning and decision making.
  • Clear information about your condition, the possible benefits and risks of different tests and treatments, so you can give your informed consent.
  • Receive information about services, waiting times and costs.
  • Be given assistance, when you need it, to help you understand and use health information.
  • Access your health information.
  • Be told if something has gone wrong during your healthcare, how it happened, how it may affect you, and what is being done to make your care safe.
  • Have your personal privacy respected.
  • Have information about you and your health kept secure and confidential.
  • Provide feedback or make a complaint without it affecting the way that you are treated.
  • Have your concerns addresses in a transparent and timely way.
  • Share your experience and participate to improve the quality of care and health services.

If you are eligible for Medicare, you are entitled to free or subsidised healthcare in hospital and from general practitioners and specialists. You are entitled to free treatment and accommodation as a public patient in a public hospital and to subsidised medicines through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

To find out if you are eligible, visit Medicare.

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