A guide for patients, carers and families—South East Queensland

Mater respects your right to receive healthcare services. We are committed to provide exceptional, patient-focused, high quality and safe healthcare. In order to provide such care, a partnership between patients, carers and families and healthcare providers is essential. The Mater Patient Charter addresses your rights and responsibilities. It outlines the process to follow if you, or a family member, wish to raise concerns about your care or immediate safety (PACE). It also provides details to enable you to contact the Privacy Office or provide feedback.

Mater Patient Charter complies with the National Safety and quality Health Service Standard 2—Partnering with Consumers.

This Patient Charter is also available in Arabic, Chinese and Vietnamese.

Mater Patient Charter

Everyone who is seeking or receiving care in the Australian health system has certain rights and responsibilities regarding the nature of that care.


I have a right to:

Healthcare—I can access services to attend to my healthcare needs. While some expenses are covered by Medicare, if I activate my private health insurance cover or opt to self-fund I may choose my doctor, my hospital and convenient appointment times, potentially avoiding longer waits.

I have a responsibility to:
  • advise Mater of any change of address, GP details or contact details.
  • be aware that I may have to wait for attention at times if staff are attending to other patients.
  • keep my appointments, or notify Mater if I am unable to attend.
  • accept that some services I require may not be available at this location.


I have a right to:

Receive safe and high quality care—I receive safe and high quality health services, provided with professional care, skill and competence.

I have a responsibility to:
  • provide accurate information about my health and anything else that may have an impact on my care (including alternative/ complementary therapies).
  • tell staff of changes I notice in my medical condition.
  • tell staff if I have concerns regarding any aspects of my care.


I have a right to:

Be informed about services, treatment, options and costs in a clear and open way—I receive open, timely and appropriate communication about my healthcare in a way I can understand.

I have a responsibility to:
  • be as open and honest as I can and ask for more information if I do not understand.
  • tell staff if English is not my first language so I can be given access to an interpreter in person or by phone.
  • understand that if I am not covered by Medicare (e.g. I am an overseas visitor) I will be responsible for payment of all relevant fees and charges.
  • understand that if I elect to be a private (chargeable) patient, I will be given information about costs and I will be responsible for paying my attending doctor/s and any other relevant charges.


I have a right to:

Be included in decisions and choices about my care—I may join in making decisions and choices about my care and about health service planning, including my end of life care planning. I may choose to not accept the advice provided to me. Regardless, I will be supported to make the healthcare decision that I consider is best for me.

I have a responsibility to:
  • ask questions so I can be informed about my medical condition and my care options before giving my consent to any treatment.
  • discuss my concerns and decisions with my healthcare provider, for example, if I do not wish to continue treatment, I am unable to comply with treatment or I intend to discharge myself against medical advice. Once I am made aware of the implications, I have to accept responsibility for the consequences of my decision.
  • provide a copy of my advanced care plan, advance health directives, enduring power of attorney or other legal documents which may be relevant.
  • participate in my post-discharge care planning.


I have a right to:

Be shown respect, dignity and consideration—the care provided shows respect to me and my culture, beliefs, personal needs and preferences.

I have a responsibility to:
  • tell staff of circumstances concerning my culture and beliefs so they can respond to my needs and preferences, but accept in some circumstances this may not be possible.
  • recognise Mater is a diverse community where everyone should be treated with respect and dignity.
  • respect other patients and staff, for example, by limiting noise and the number of visitors.


I have a right to:

Privacy and confidentiality of my personal information—my personal privacy is maintained and proper handling of my personal health and other information is assured.

I have a responsibility to:
  • accept that my health information may be shared with appropriate healthcare providers and other agencies as authorised by law.
  • ask for my recorded health information to be corrected if it is inaccurate.
  • respect the privacy and confidentiality of others.


I have a right to:

Comment on my care and to have my concerns addressed—I can comment on or complain about my care and have my concerns investigated and responded to so that Mater can better understand my care experience and areas for improvement.

I have a responsibility to:
  • tell staff if I have a problem, concern or worry about my care and my safety so they can respond.
  • raise concerns about my care with the treating team.


Your Safety, Our Priority—Patient and Carer Escalation (PACE)*

We value your safety above all else. We expect that your healthcare team can address any concerns or worries you may have about your care and immediate safety. Patients, families or carers have a right to further escalate their concerns and we encourage you to raise any concerns as early as possible. If you have serious or immediate concerns about your health, please follow the steps outlined below:

Step 1: Speak to your nurse or doctor, who will listen and respond to your concerns.

If you are unsatisfied with the response and are still concerned, move to step 2.

Step 2: Ask to speak to the nurse/midwifery team leader or nurse/midwifery unit manager.

If you are unsatisfied with the response, and are still concerned, move to step 3.

Step 3:

  • Activate a PACE
  • Dial 555 from a bed side phone or call 07 3163 8555.
  • Tell the operator "I am using PACE", your name, ward, bed number and doctors name, if known.
  • A senior member of stall will see you within 10 minutes.

*PACE is the equivalent to Ryan's Rule as used by Queensland Health.

Giving feedback

Give a compliment: Everyone enjoys receiving positive feedback, and we are no exception. If you've received exceptional service, we would love you to let us know.

We welcome your feedback and compliments as it helps us continue to improve.

Make a complaint: If you are unhappy with any aspect of your care, please let us know so we have the opportunity to put things right.

To give a compliment or make a complaint, please follow the steps below.

  • Discuss your feedback with the person/s caring for you.
  • Request to speak to the manager of the ward/unit area.
  • Ask to speak with Mater's Patient Representative on 07 3163 8303 or email patientrep@mater.org.au
  • If you do not believe we have resolved your complaint, you can contact the Office of the Health Ombudsman. This is an independent body, and can be contacted on 131 OHO (131 646) or www.oho.qld.gov.au.

For issues relating to health information collection, access to records or correction of records, contact the Mater Privacy Coordinator (details below).

You may also contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner on 1300 363 992 or privacy@privacy.gov.au

Help Mater to improve

We need your help to design better ways to provide healthcare, to comment on our policies and procedures, measure and evaluate how we are doing and make decisions about our future. If you are interested in volunteering your time as a member of Mater's Community of Consumers, please email consumers@mater.org.au.

Mater Patient Representative

Telephone: 07 3163 8303 Fax: 07 3163 8753
Email: patientrep@mater.org.au

Office of the Health Ombudsman

Telephone: 131 OHO (133 646)
Website: www.oho.qld.gov.au

Mater Privacy Coordinator

Telephone: 07 3163 2666 Fax: 07 3163 8104
Email: privacycoordinator@mater.org.au

You may also contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner on 1300 363 992 or privacy@privacy.gov.au