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13 Aug 2019

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care has launched a revised charter of rights that encourages people to be actively involved in decisions about their health care.

The revised Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights is the second edition of the Charter and describes rights that apply to people in all healthcare settings across Australia.

It reflects an increased focus on person-centred care and says people receiving health care have every right to engage with their healthcare providers and have input about decisions being taken.

The Charter outlines what every person can expect when receiving care and describes seven fundamental rights including: access, safety, respect, partnership, information, privacy and giving feedback.

Its use is embedded in the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards that all hospitals and other acute health services must meet to stay accredited.

Commission Chair Professor Villis Marshall AC said the release marks the first major update to the original Charter, adopted by Australian Health Ministers in 2008.

“The inaugural Charter was a landmark document and the second edition builds on that strong foundation,” Professor Villis said.

“Community attitudes to health are constantly evolving and we reviewed the Charter through that lens, to ensure it reflected what the wider community believe are their appropriate healthcare rights in today’s landscape, and to clarify areas that required further explanation.

“The new Charter explains a patient’s rights to privacy in practice, it expands on the importance of informed consent and open disclosure, and it reflects the increased focus of the medical profession on partnering with the consumer in the delivery of health care in Australia.”

The Charter also aims to assist healthcare professionals, who can use it to discuss with patients their rights when using the healthcare system. The Commission has developed resources to support healthcare providers when discussing patient rights.


Published: 13 Aug 2019