RIGHTS of every patient
Access to care
UnitingCare Health is a private not-for-profi t organisation owned and operated by the Uniting Church. Any surplus funds are re-invested back into the development of healthcare services for the benefit of the community. All patients have the right to access treatment and/or care available and medically indicated regardless of race, creed, sex or national origins.
Access to personal information
All patients will be provided with access to their health records/personal information on request. All information is disclosed in keeping with the Privacy Act 1988 (as amended), subject to certain restrictions. Access can be arranged by making a request to the Privacy Officer. The hospital will take reasonable steps to correct information if it is shown to be inaccurate, incomplete or out of date.
Further information regarding the use of, access and amendment to personal information held by the hospital can be provided by contacting the hospital’s Privacy Officer, through the hospital’s main switchboard.
All patients have the right to request and obtain from the hospital complete and current information concerning accounting requirements, procedures and practices.
Comments and complaints
All patients have the right to provide feedback or initiate complaints and receive a response in regard to any aspect of their treatment and care. Feedback is welcome through completion of the 'Patient Satisfaction Survey' or department manager.
All patients have the right to choose the level and type of communications with any member of their family and the general community.
All patients have the right to informed consent that is sought and obtained by their doctor before any treatment is commenced. All patients have the right to withdraw their consent for treatment at any time. It may be a requirement to confirm and/or withdraw this consent in writing.
All patients have the right to be informed of any out-of-pocket expenses prior to their admission.
Identification of personnel
All patients have the right to know the identity and professional status of individuals providing services and care, as well as the choice of the doctor primarily responsible for directing their care.
All patients have the right to obtain complete and current information concerning diagnosis, treatment and any known prognosis from doctor coordinating their care, and the information should be communicated in terms that can be reasonably understood.
All patients have the right to expect reasonable levels of personal safety, as is practicable in the environment and in accordance with hospital policy.
Privacy and confidentiality
All patients have the right to privacy as required by legislation. This includes the right to:
• Be interviewed and examined in surroundings designed to assure reasonable visual and auditory privacy.
• Expect that any discussion or consultation involving their care and treatment will be conducted discreetly and that individuals not directly involved in their care will not be present without their permission.
• Have their medical record read only by individuals directly involved in their treatment or in the monitoring of treatment quality.
• Expect all communications and other records pertaining to their care be treated as confidential.
RESPONSIBILITIES of every patient
Compliance with treatment
All patients have a responsibility to participate and comply with their treatment and care as planned with their doctor and other members of the clinical team.
All patients have a responsibility to be, or to become, fully aware of the costs they incur during their admission and treatment and the subsequent payment of outstanding expenses on or prior to discharge (unless other arrangements have been made with the hospital). Such expenses could include personal items from the pharmacy, STD and mobile telephone calls, co-payments or excesses related to the level of health insurance.
Provision of information
All patients have the responsibility to provide, to the best of their knowledge, accurate and complete information about their presenting problem/s, past illnesses, previous hospitalisations, medications and other matters relating to their health and treatment.
All patients are responsible for reporting unexpected changes in their condition to their doctor or nursing and allied health staff. All patients have the responsibility to seek information from their doctor and the clinical team sufficient for them, and their family and/or carer where appropriate, to have a clear understanding of their proposed treatment, care and actions.
Refusal of treatment
All patients have the responsibility of accepting the consequences of their own actions if they refuse treatment or do not follow their doctor’s requirements or recommendations, or that of their treating clinical team.
Respect and consideration
All patients have the responsibility for being considerate and respectful of the rights of other patients, all hospital personnel and visitors. All patients have the responsibility of treating all hospital property with respect and care.
All patients have the responsibility of ensuring, as far as possible, their own and others’ safety both inside and outside of the hospital.
Absences from hospital/ward
All patients have a responsibility to notify a nurse before leaving and on return to the ward. Patients are responsible for their own care, health and safety from the time of departure from the hospital. Mental health patients should refer to the service’s orientation booklet or doctor’s instructions for additional responsibilities in relation to short and extended leave.
Alcohol and prohibited substances
All patients have responsibility not to possess or consume non-prescribed medications or illicit drugs whilst a patient in the hospital. The consumption of alcohol in moderation is acceptable only if ordered by the doctor as part of the treatment plan.
Care of valuables
Patients are responsible for the care of their own personal items and valuables. Where possible valuables should be left or sent home and should not be unsecured in patient’s rooms. Any valuables that patients need to keep with them in hospital should be kept in a secure place in the patient’s room or deposited at Reception for securing in the hospital safe and entered in the valuables book. The hospital reserves the right to decline to accept valuables for safekeeping. Any valuables deposited are retained at the risk of patients.
The hospital cannot assure on-site parking for patients’ vehicles. If driving to the hospital, patients do so at their own risk and agree that cars are parked at their own risk without any responsibility on the part of the hospital for loss or damage to vehicles or persons.
Patients have the responsibility of delivering all medication to the nurse station. Medication should not be kept in patients’ rooms unless prescribed by the treating doctor.