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Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights

The Charter describes 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.

The Charter can, if needed, be adapted to meet the specific needs of the state, territory, local district or health service organisation; however, the seven original rights should remain in place. 

How the Charter relates 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.


How the Charter started and what's changed

The first edition of the Charter was released in 2008. The first Charter was developed in collaboration with consumers, clinicians, healthcare managers and policy-makers. In 2018, the Commission commenced a review of the Charter with over 1,600 responses received by people providing feedback through a survey and workshops.

The second edition of the Charter which was released in 2019 reflects an increased focus on person-centred care and empowers consumers to take an active role in their healthcare. It is clearer and more specific than the first edition on 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:


If you have any questions about the Charter, please contact the Partnering with Consumers team on (02) 9126 3600 or email

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