Your rights and responsibilities

Good oral health care is built on a positive and active relationship between you and your oral health team. Just as you have your rights, you also have responsibilities to assist staff to provide the care you need.

The Victorian government endorses the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights in Victoria developed by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare through extensive consultation with the health sector, government and health consumer groups, and adopted by federal and state Health Ministers.

View the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights in Victoria

The charter is also available as an audio file, Easy English, in Braille, as a free printed brochure or as a document in English

Agreement to provide care

Under common law, you must voluntarily give your permission before any treatment can be carried out. Permission may be verbal. In the case of complicated treatment, permission may need to be given in writing.

You have the right to:

  • Participate in decisions about your oral health care. Your condition and treatment options should be discussed with you so that you may agree to or refuse treatment if you wish.
  • Request the presence of other people including a family member, carer, friend, advocate or interpreter to help you understand about your care and treatment.
  • Refuse the presence of health workers not directly involved in your care, family members, students or researchers.
  • Be listened to when you have a question or want more information.
  • Obtain a second opinion from another qualified dental professional if you are unsure about your treatment.
  • Refuse to have examinations, tests or dental work at any time. If you refuse, the likely results of your decision should be explained to you. If you choose to stop treatment, you may need to sign a form accepting responsibility for your decision.
  • Ask for an accredited interpreter to assist you. You should advise staff of this need when an appointment is made so that they can arrange this for you.
  • Be treated with respect and consideration appropriate to your particular needs.
  • Confidentiality. Everyone involved in your treatment and care has a professional and legal duty to keep your personal information confidential.

You have the responsibility to:

  • Give us accurate information about:
    • Past and present medical and dental treatment
    • Problems you have had
    • Medicines you are taking
    • Allergies you have
    • If you have a weakened immune system
  • Show courtesy and consideration to staff by telling them your needs in a polite way and behaving in a way that respects other patients and staff.
  • Attend appointments on time and tell the clinic in advance if you are unable to attend. This will allow other patients to use the appointment.
  • Pay fees and co-payments by the dates given or contact your clinic to discuss payment options.
  • Work with your dental professional by sharing information about your health, social circumstances and emotional wellbeing.
  • Follow advice provided for the management of your own oral health, or discuss this with your dental professional if you do not wish to do so.
  • Ask for information if you do not understand what you have been told.
  • Report any unexpected changes in your condition. Contact the dental clinic as soon as possible if a problem arises.
  • Tell us if you do not wish to have other people present such as family members or students.
  • Tell us if you are unhappy with the care you receive, or have family member or friend contact the manager of the department where you are receiving treatment.

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