History of the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights

The first edition of the Charter was released in 2008. The current edition was launched in August 2019.

The Charter was developed in collaboration with consumers, clinicians, healthcare managers and policy-makers, and describes what people should expect when experiencing health care in Australia. The first edition of the Charter was approved by Australian Health Minister's and released in 2008.

In 2018 the Commission commenced a review of the Charter. The second edition reflects an increased focus on person-centred care and empowers consumers to take an active role in their healthcare. The Charter is now clearer and more specific about issues that consumers said were important to them.

Online launch of the second edition


Supportive resources

The Commission has developed a range of tools and resources to help consumers, and healthcare providers understand and use the Charter. 

How the second edition was developed

The Commission commenced the review the Charter in 2018. Over 1600 survey responses were received and eight workshops were held with consumers, health service staff and policy-makers. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this review.

The second edition of the Charter reflects an increased focus on person-centred care and empowers consumers to take an active role in their healthcare. It aligns with the first edition of the Charter, but is clearer and more specific about important issues such as health literacy, shared decision making and partnership in action.

Information about the consultation process and the key findings are available in two reports:


How the Charter relate to the NSQHS Standards

The National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards require health service organisations to use a charter of rights that is consistent with the Charter. This means that health services may adopt the Charter, or develop their own charter. Health service organisations need to ensure that any charter that they develop aligns with the Charter and is accessible for patients, carers, families and consumers.

Health service organisations that are currently undergoing accreditation may choose to:

  • Continue to use the first edition of the Charter, or a local adaptation, or
  • Commence transitioning to the second edition of the Charter, or develop a tailored version to suit their local context.

The first edition is now superseded although it can still be viewed using the links below. The current edition is available with supporting resources on the website.

First edition of the Charter


Resources produced for the first edition of the Charter


Translated versions of the first edition of the Charter

Other versions

An audio and Braille version of the first edition of the Charter are also available. Please contact partneringwithconsumers@safetyandquality.gov.au for a copy of these resources.

Contact

If you have any questions about the Charter, please contact the Partnering with Consumers team on (02) 9126 3600 or by email partneringwithconsumers@safetyandquality.gov.au