Rights and Responsibilities of the Patient
The South Australian Health Commission has issued a Charter of Patients’ Rights and Responsibilities for the South Australian Public Health System & our practice endorses this Charter which allows the patient to have a say in their medical care.
The Charter outlines these under the following headings:
- Access to their personal medical records.
- Confidentiality of medical records with such information only being made available to others with the patients consent.
- Medical decision making. Patients have the right to have their illness and treatment options discussed and explained, together with any significant risks so that they can make an informed decision about their care. Patients consent should be sought prior to treatment.
- It is the patients right to change their decision or refuse treatment at any time and to be given an explanation of any consequences of not proceeding with recommended treatment.
- Patients have the right to competent health care which is appropriate for their condition and to have appropriate continuity of care following treatment. Their rights include a provision of considerate and courteous care and to be treated with dignity by all health workers.
- Patients have the right of privacy in deciding who will be present during provision of their health care.
- Patients have the right to receive up to date information on the options available for their treatment to help them make appropriate choices. They have the right to seek a second medical opinion at any time about their diagnosis and treatment.
Such patient rights also come with patients’ responsibilities to enable us as health providers to give them the best possible care. These responsibilities include:
- To treat their health providers with normal courtesy.
- To be prepared to give their health care worker all medical details regarding past history and any previous problems or complications experienced.
- To ask their health care worker for a full and clear explanation of the treatment that has been recommended.
- To assist with any treatment plan which all have agreed on.
It is important that we meet all expectations when managing a patients health. Therefore, patients are welcome & invited to discuss any concerns, questions or complaints about any issues with their doctor or any staff member.
If the patient leaves the premises without the consent of the relevant medical staff member, then the patient is liable for any injury or illness aggravated or caused to himself/herself by such action. In this respect see the policy entitled “Policy for patients who discharge themselves against medical advice”.
Government of South Australia, Charter for SA Public Health System Consumers, Their Rights and Responsibilities, 2008