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Rights and Responsibilities

Patients’ Rights and Responsibilities - All patients have certain rights when seeking medical treatment. They also have certain responsibilities and courtesies which should be observed to assist those who are treating them. The following outlines the main rights and responsibilities.

Your Rights:
 
· Assistance from trained interpreters by phone is available if required, this service is free and confidential;
· Your docotor should give you a clear, concise explanation of your condition, problem or disease in non-medical terms;
· Before any treatment or investigation is carried out, you should be given a clear explanation of the procedure, and any alternative procedures
available and the risks associated with these treatments, including detail of any after-effects, side-effects or potential adverse outcomes;
· Never hesitate to ask questions, even if it means repeating them until you understand. Delay in asking questions which trouble you may cause
unnecessary worry; obtain as much information as you need;
· Your consent is required before any treatment begins. You may withdraw your consent and refuse further treatment at any time;
· You have a right to a second opinion about your treatment, even if you are a Medicare patient. Such a request should be adhered to wherever possible, except in an emergency or when no other Doctor is available;
· You have the right to have the details of your condition and treatment kept confidential unless the law requires otherwise;
· Before treatment begins you may ask about the costs. If you are worried about costs, you should discuss this with your doctor or with the clerical staff;
· You have the right (except in the case of some infectious diseases or psychiatric conditions) to leave the Hospital at any time, but if you do so without Hospital consent you will be responsible for any injury or illness caused or aggravated by your own action. Please let a staff member know when and where you go;
· If you consider that you have been harmed as a result of negligence by the Hospital, staff or other professional, you should obtain legal advice;
· If you are a parent or guardian of a patient, you may exercise any of these rights on behalf of children or wards;
· You are entitled to be treated with care, consideration and dignity;
· If your child is in Hospital you may ask to stay with them at all times, except if separation is necessary for medical reasons;
  
· You are entitled to know what services are available in Hospital;
· You may ask the doctor in charge of your case to see your own medical files;
· You can contact a friend, relative, solicitor or member of clergy if you wish to discuss a problem;
· If you do not wish to see a visitor, inform the ward nurse.
 
Your Responsibilities:
 
· To be well informed about your treatment, consult with all relevant medical personnel or relatives before reaching a decision;
· You should know your medical history, including details of medications which you may be taking regularly or occasionally, answer questions about your health frankly and honestly and discuss with your doctor any problems which you feel may be affecting your health or medical
condition;
· Keep appointments or inform those concerned if you can’t attend;
· Comply with prescribed treatment or inform your health professional of your intention not to do so;
· You should accept the consequences of your own informed decisions and not change your mind about treatment without good reason, inform your doctor if you are in consultation with or under treatment by another health professional in connection with the same complaint;
· If you elect to be a private (chargeable) patient you will be responsible for paying your attending doctor’s and the Hospital's charges. You should therefore ensure that your level of private health insurance cover is
sufficient;
· Conduct yourself in an appropriate way so as not to interfere with the well-being or rights of other patients or staff, remembering that courtesy is always appreciated & reciprocated.
 
During your stay the staff will ensure that you receive quality care and will provide assistance with your recovery.
 
The South Western Sydney Local Health District is committed to giving you quality health services that are safe, efficient and effective and respect your rights as an individual.

These brochures is available in a number of different languages. Please make your selection from the brochures listed below.

© 2016 South Western Sydney Local Health District
Page last updated: 18 June, 2012
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