Rights and responsibilities

Read about your rights and responsibilities at King Edward Memorial Hospital (KEMH).
Your rights and responsibilities as a patient

When seeking or receiving healthcare in WA, you have certain rights and responsibilities. These essential rights form the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights (external site). A summary booklet is also available to help you understand your healthcare rights (external site).

Your rights


You have the right to:

  • access healthcare services and treatment that meets your needs.


You have the right to:

  • receive safe and high quality health care that meets national standards
  • be cared for in an environment that is safe and makes you feel safe.


You have the right to:

  • be treated as an individual, and with dignity and respect
  • have your culture, identity, beliefs and choices recognised and respected.

Respect and good communication between staff, patients and carers will help to create a positive hospital experience and better health outcomes.

Healthcare professionals have a duty to:

  • treat you respectfully
  • listen to your concerns
  • answer your questions clearly and honestly
  • inform and educate you about your illness.

Just as doctors and nurses and hospital staff should respect you, you also have a responsibility to treat staff and other patients with respect. This makes for a more pleasant hospital experience, both for you and those who will treat and care for you.


You have the right to:

  • ask questions and be involved in open and honest communication
  • make decisions with your healthcare provider, to the extent that you choose and are able to
  • include the people that you want in planning and decision-making.


You have the right to:

  • clear information about your condition, the possible benefits and risks of different tests and treatments, so you can give your informed consent
  • receive information about services, waiting times and costs
  • be given assistance, when you need it, to help you understand and use health information. (This can include accessing an interpreter service).

Access your health information

When you visit a doctor or hospital, a paper and electronic record is created. These records can be accessed quickly in an emergency and by other doctors and hospitals where needed.

You also have the right to be told:

  • if something has gone wrong during your health care
  • how it happened
  • how it may affect you
  • what is being done to make care safe.

Learn more about medical records and your privacy on the during your hospital stay page.


You have the right to:

  • have your personal privacy respected
  • have information about you and your health kept secure and confidential.

Learn more about medical records and your privacy on the during your hospital stay page.

Give feedback

You have the right to:

  • provide feedback or make a complaint without it affecting the way that you are treated
  • have your concerns addressed in a transparent and timely way
  • share your experience and participate to improve the quality of care and health services.

Every hospital has a process that enables patients to provide comments about the quality of health care they receive, including complaints and compliments. You can learn more about this process by contacting a staff member on your ward, or the manager of the hospital's customer liaison department.

View the list of Consumer liaison contacts.

Your responsibilities:

To help us to provide you the best possible care please:

  • tell us about your illnesses and hospital visits, symptoms, medications, allergies and other health related matters
  • tell us about any religious or cultural beliefs and requirements
  • treat all people you meet in the health service (staff, volunteers, patients, their families) with care, dignity and consideration
  • ask questions and talk to your family before making any decisions about your health care if relevant
  • follow staff instructions regarding your treatment and care
  • be on time for appointments and let your health service know if you need to cancel or reschedule, and notify us if your contact details change
  • respect the confidentiality and privacy of others.
Patients accessing mental health services

The Mental Health Act 2014 provides a number of extra rights for patients receiving psychiatric treatment. For more information please contact the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist (external site).


At KEMH we recognise that carers play a fundamental role in the delivery of care.

A carer is defined as someone who provides unpaid ongoing care and support to someone with a chronic illness, mental illness, disability or who is frail and includes providing palliative care.

We support the Western Australian Carers Charter as defined by the Carers Recognition Act 2004, which outlines how carers are to be treated and involved in delivering some services which impact on them as a carer.

The Western Australian Carers Charter:

  • Carers must be treated with respect and dignity. 
  • The role of carers must be recognised by including carers in the assessment, planning, delivery and review of services that impact on them and the role of carers. 
  • The views and needs of carers must be taken into account along with the views, needs and best interests of people receiving care when decisions are made that impact on carers and the role of carers. 
  • Complaints made by carers in relation to services that impact on them and the role of carers must be given due attention and consideration.

Carers WA is the peak body representing the needs of carers in WA and providing a wide range of support services for carers as well as education to service providers.

We support Carers WA to operate their Prepare to Care Hospital Program at KEMH. A referral can be made on behalf of a carer to: referral@carerswa.asn.au.

Carers WA can be contacted by phone 1300 227 377, email: info@carerswa.asn.au or via their website https://www.carerswa.asn.au/ (external site).

To find out how we can help you, please talk to the Customer Service Unit staff or one of your clinical team members.

Carer Gateway

Carers can also be referred to Carer Gateway (external site) via the referral form. Carer Gateway is an Australian Government initiative providing a mix of free in-person, phone, and online supports, services and advice, for carers in Australia. View more information for Service Providers on Carer Gateway.

Other languages 

Visit HealthyWA (external site) to learn more about your patient rights and responsibilities or to read in languages other than English.


More information 

Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights
Customer Service Unit