- Cancer Information
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- Cancer care and your rights
- Patient rights and responsibilities
Patient rights and responsibilities
Knowing your patient rights and responsibilities may help you feel reassured that you are receiving safe, high quality health care. The Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights sets out seven key rights for people needing health care. These rights cover access, safety, respect, partnership, information, privacy, and giving feedback. You have rights and responsibilities whether you are seeking care in the public or private health system.
Learn more about:
- What are patient rights?
- Why are rights important?
- Are rights legally enforceable?
- Rights in the Australian healthcare system
- What are patient responsibilities?
Patient rights are rules for people receiving medical care. Some rights are legally enforceable; other rights are not protected by laws, but reflect what people can reasonably expect from their care providers.
Understanding your rights and what you can reasonably expect of your treatment team and the health care system – and what can be expected of you – will help you find your way through the system and take an active role in your care. It’s important that you feel comfortable to ask questions.
Care that responds to your needs, preferences and values, as well as the needs of your family and carers, is known as person-centred care. This means that your health care providers will respect your care goals, and involve you in decisions about your treatment and ongoing care. Working in partnership to make joint decisions about your care can lead to better outcomes.
Toni Ashmore, Cancer and Ambulatory Services, Canberra Health Services, ACT; Baker McKenzie, Pro Bono Legal Adviser, NSW; Marion Bamblett, Acting Nurse Unit Manager, Cancer Centre, South Metropolitan Health Service, Fiona Stanley Hospital, WA; David Briggs, Consumer; Naomi Catchpole, Social Worker, Metro South Health, Princess Alexandra Hospital, QLD; Tarishi Desai, Legal Research Officer, McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer, VIC; Kathryn Dwan, Manager, Policy and Research, Health Care Consumers Association, ACT; Hayley Jones, Manager, Treatment and Supportive Care, McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer, VIC; Victoria Lear, Cancer Care Coordinator, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, QLD; Deb Roffe, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Michelle Smerdon, National Pro Bono Manager, Cancer Council NSW.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.
Click below to download a PDF booklet on this topic.
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