Your Rights and Responsibilities
Patient Rights and Responsibilities
As a patient in a Victorian public hospital, you are entitled to expect and receive high quality services. The Australian Health Care Charter promotes a partnership between you and your health service. If you have any concerns or questions ask you health care professional at the hospital/department for information or the local reception areas. The following are your Rights and Responsibilities at Northern Health.
To a wide range of public hospital services
Wherever you are in the state, you should have access to a wide range of services that provide appropriate care of high quality.
Treatment based on medical need
Regardless of your ability to pay or your health insurance status, you have the right to receive treatment, as your medical condition requires, whether you are a public or private patient.
Choose whether you wish to have treatment as a public or a private patient
You are able to decide if you want to be admitted as a public or private patient.
Treatment and care in a safe environment
You have the right to feel safe, clean and comfortable while in hospital.
Services provided in a culturally sensitive way
You have the right to be treated in a way that respects your culture and beliefs. You can ask to stay with your child in hospital, subject to the availability of facilities. You will be treated with respect, care, consideration and dignity regardless of race, creed, sex, religion or nationality.
If necessary, to have access to an accredited interpreter
You are entitled to request an accredited interpreter and use an interpreting service for essential information such as admission and discussion about your medical history and treatment.
Information about which hospital staff will provide your care
You have the right to be kept informed about who is responsible for your care and how to contact them.
Participate in making decisions about your treatment and care
You should be fully involved in decisions about your care and be given opportunities to ask questions and discuss your treatment. You may also appoint someone to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to at any point.
Participate in decisions and receive information about your discharge
You have the right to participate in decisions about when you leave the hospital and to receive information about available services. You may leave the hospital against your doctor’s advice, however, you may be asked to sign a form accepting responsibility for your decision.
Access to your health records and confidentiality for your personal information
You have the right to see your health records. This can be done through your doctor or through Freedom of Information. The hospital’s Freedom of Information Officer can advise you on how to make this request. Everyone involved in your treatment and care has a professional and legal duty to keep information about you confidential. Click here for our FOI Fact Sheet and Request Form.
Treatment with respect, dignity and consideration for privacy
As far as possible, health services will provide care and treatment in surroundings that allow privacy. You are also expected to treat the hospital staff with respect and consideration.
Information about your health care and, if you wish, a second medical opinion
You are entitled to be fully informed about your medical treatment and seek a second opinion, if necessary. You may query any issues you don’t understand with the doctor before you consent to any procedure/treatment.
An opportunity to discuss any questions or complaints you may have concerning your stay in hospital.
If you have questions or a complaint speak to your treating team or the NUM/Manager of the Unit in the first instance. If you remain dissatisfied, you can speak with the Patient Experience Office at NH on telephone (03) 9495 3229 or complete the NH Feedback form or write to us expressing your concerns.
Consumers from the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander community may prefer to speak with the NH Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Support Unit (03) 8405 8476.
You have the responsibility to:
Work with your treating team by providing relevant information about your health and circumstances that may influence your treatment, recovery or stay in hospital. If you are a private patient, to pay your attending doctor’s fees and the Hospital’s charges as billed. Ask staff for a clear explanation of treatments, tests and medications recommended for your care. Participate in your healthcare by letting staff know immediately if you do not understand advice or instructions given to you. You are encouraged to be involved in the successful planning of your discharge. If you intend to leave hospital or unable to attend an appointment inform staff. Patients are encouraged to be courteous and considerate to staff, other patients and visitors. It is essential to follow the no smoking regulations within grounds or buildings at Northern Health sites and ensuring the consumption of illegal substances or participating in other illegal activities does not occur.
Information on the Public Hospital Patient Charter is available at:
Health Services Commissioner
570 Bourke Street
1300 582 113
(61 3) 9032 3111
Rights and Responsibilities Brochures available in the following langauges: