|Health home > Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights in Victoria > Healthcare rights in Victoria > Communication|
High quality health care is based on open and effective two-way communication between you and your healthcare provider. You have a right to be informed about services, treatment, options and costs in a way that you can understand.
You have a right to clear and understandable information about your health care and condition including, treatment options, expected outcomes, possible side effects and costs. Your healthcare provider should give you the opportunity to ask questions.
If you have concerns about the treatment options your healthcare provider has offered, you have a right to obtain a second medical opinion.
Many things affect your health, your medical history, medications and complementary therapies you are taking, social circumstances and emotional wellbeing. It is important to give your healthcare provider all relevant information, so that they can offer you the most appropriate treatment.
You have a right to an accredited interpreter for communication needs with your publicly-funded healthcare provider. Interpreters should be provided at important points during your care, such as when discussing medical history, treatments, test results, diagnoses, during admission and assessment and when you are required to give informed consent.
Informed consent is the voluntary agreement by a patient to a proposed health care management approach given after proper and adequate information is conveyed to the patient about the proposed management, including potential risks and benefits and alternative management options.
If you are a patient or consumer in a hospital or other large healthcare service, you may be treated by a number of people. You have a right to be kept informed about who is responsible for your care, and how to contact them.
You have a right to involve a family member, carer or chosen support person to help you in discussions with your healthcare provider. This person could be a friend or family member, or someone from a consumer support organisation. For example, most Victorian public hospitals have an Aboriginal liaison officer. Contact details of a range of such organisations are available.