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Rights and Responsibilities

South West Healthcare cares for the wellbeing of our staff and patients.

Please be respectful towards our staff. Abusive behaviour, violence or threats of violence over the phone or in person are unacceptable towards our staff, patients, family members or visitors will not be tolerated. If necessary, security staff and police may be called to intervene. Visitors to the hospital who do not comply with this code will be asked to leave. They may be required to agree to certain conditions if they wish to re-enter the hospital in the future. Like our process for medical emergencies, South West Healthcare has a process for managing aggressive behaviours. Highly trained hospital staff forms a response team who may be called to help prevent, manage and resolve incidents of violence and aggression in the hospital. They are called the Code Grey Team.

The Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights

The Charter describes the rights that consumers, or someone they care for, can expect when receiving health care. These rights apply to all people in all places where health care is provided in Australia. This includes public and private hospitals, day procedure services, general practice and other community health services.

View the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights

View information about the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights including languages other than English.

As a patient of South West Healthcare you have the right to:


  • Healthcare services and treatment that meets my needs


  • Receive safe and high quality health care that meets national standards
  • Be cared for in an environment that makes me feel safe


  • Be treated as an individual, and with dignity and respect
  • Have my culture, identity, beliefs and choices recognised and respected


  • Ask questions and be involved in open and honest communication
  • Make decisions with my healthcare provider, to the extent that I choose and am able to
  • Include the people that I want in planning and decision-making


  • Clear information about my condition, the possible benefits and risks of different tests and treatments, so I can give my informed consent
  • Receive information about services, waiting times and costs
  • Be given assistance, when I need it, to help me to understand and use health information
  • Request access to my health information
  • Be told if something has gone wrong during my health care, how it happened, how it may affect me and what is being done to make care safe


  • Have my personal privacy respected
  • Have information about me and my health kept secure and confidential

Give feedback

  • Provide feedback or make a complaint without it affecting the way that I am treated
  • Have my concerns addressed in a transparent and timely way
  • Share my experience and participate to improve the quality of care and health services

What are my responsibilities as a patient?

You are also responsible for your behaviour and care. You should try to:

  • tell everybody involved in your care what your expectations are
  • tell staff if you have a problem
  • understand your treatment and ask questions if you don’t
  • give staff accurate information about your health and your present treatment
  • tell hospital staff if your condition changes
  • follow your prescribed treatment
  • be considerate of staff and other patients and ask your visitors to do the same
  • come to your appointment, or tell staff if you need to change an appointment.

For further information, view the Australia Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, Australia Charter of Healthcare Rights.

Informed consent

If you need to have medical treatment you are normally asked to give your consent. This may be verbal consent or you may be asked to sign a document.

Informed consent is when you understand the full nature of what you are agreeing to. This means that the treatment or procedure, and associated risks, have been explained in your language (with an interpreter) and in a way that you understand.

You can only give informed consent if you fully understand why you are having the treatment or the procedure; what is involved; and you understand the risks of any treatment or procedure. You also understand the risks of not having the procedure and what the alternatives are.

Your doctor or medical team will recommend the best treatment for you based on their expertise and knowledge. You have the right to ask questions, to ask for a second opinion and to refuse treatment if you wish. But you also have a responsibility to learn as much as you can about your condition and the treatment being offered.

  • If you don’t understand anything your doctor, nurse or midwife tells you, ask them to explain again.
  • Ask for written information that you can use to discuss with your friends or family, and that you can refer back to when you are making decisions.
  • Repeat back to the doctor, nurse or midwife what they have said to you. This will help them know that you understand what you have been told about your treatment or your condition.
  • It can be difficult to feel ‘fully informed’ about procedures or treatments for you. Some procedures are very complex and difficult to understand. Some information, however, may help you to feel more comfortable or more involved in decisions about your care.

South West Healthcare Statement of Commitment to Child Safety

South West Healthcare is committed to promoting and protecting the interests and safety of children. We have zero tolerance for child abuse. Everyone working at South West Healthcare is responsible for the care and protection of children and reporting information about child abuse.

We will ensure that our systems protect children from abuse, and will take all allegations and concerns very seriously and respond to them consistently in line with the organisation’s policies and procedures. If any person believes a child is in immediate risk of abuse, call the Police on 000.

Social Media Guidelines

Public comments and interactions with South West Healthcare social media sites

We actively seek ideas, questions, complaints, and feedback from our community. We encourage open conversation and debate, but expect participants to behave in a respectful manner. This is relevant for social media channels managed by South West Healthcare and places, or additional accounts closely associated with South West Healthcare.

South West Healthcare reserves the right to delete comments that are:

  • Promoting incorrect or inexpert health advice or other information
  • knowingly false or mischievous complaints or statements about individuals, companies or the government
  • misleading, obscene, off-topic, sexist, racist or spam
  • promotional or commercial in nature
  • unlawful or incite others to break the law
  • defamatory or harassing of our employees, volunteers, or the participants in our channels
  • information that may compromise the safety or security of the public
  • repetitive posts copied and pasted or duplicated by single or multiple users
  • any other inappropriate content or comments as determined by South West Healthcare.

South West Healthcare reserves the right to delete any comments that it considers, within its discretion, fall within the above description, and to ban or block these posting any of the above from its pages or channels. The department reserves the right, in its discretion, to switch off the comment function on any of the department’s pages or social media channels at any time. Additionally, South West Healthcare reserves the right to turn off comments on Facebook and Instagram after hours and turn off replies on Twitter and LinkedIn at the discretion of the department.

Enquiries via social media

While we can service simple questions or issues via our social media pages, not everything can be resolved via social media. In this instance you can visit our website to find out more about our services and where they are located. Alternatively, you can call South West Healthcare on (03) 5563 1666 to get assistance.

Please be aware that content on our social media channels is provided for information purposes only. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or other registered health professional. If you have health concerns, you should contact a local healthcare professional. We cannot offer personalised health advice via our social media channels.


South West Healthcare’s social media pages provide general information only. South West Healthcare does not represent or warrant that the content on this page is accurate, authentic or complete or that the information contained on South West Healthcare’s managed social media pages is suitable for your needs. You must not rely on this page as a statement of government policy, except where clearly stated.

To the extent permitted by law, South West Healthcare excludes liability for any loss or damage caused by use or reliance or arising from any comment or statement posted by any person on any social media account managed by South West Healthcare. South West Healthcare may amend or withdraw material or comments on this page at any time without notice.

Page last updated: 22 February 2024

We value feedback from patients, consumers, family members and carers.