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2012 Edition

Country Health SA Local Health Network

Port Augusta Hospital &amp; Regional Health 




The staff of the Port Augusta Hospital and Regional Health Services aim to make your stay as
comfortable as possible. Your treatment and care always remains the most important part of
our Health Service s operation. 


Our aim is to deliver the highest possible standard of care to all our patients. If you have a
suggestion that you feel would contribute to you or patient s wellbeing or comfort please use
our suggestion boxes placed throughout the hospital or write to:

Port Augusta Hospital &amp; Regional Health Services
71 Hospital Road


The hospital is grateful to advertisers who made this handbook possible. However, an
advertisement in this handbook does not imply an endorsement by the hospital.


 Our Future is your Health and Wellbeing 

The Port Augusta Hospital &amp; Regional Health Services will value and work with individuals and
community groups to provide positive health outcomes for all.


Fees are charged in accordance with the
gazetted rates for patients admitted to Public
Hospital as a PRIVATE PATIENT.

No fees apply for patients admitted to Hospital

Money received from Private Patient Revenues
is retained by Port Augusta Hospital and
Regional Health Services and is used to further
develop the range and standard of patient

Please ensure that you have adequate PRIVATE
Hospital cover (not extras) if you elect to be
admitted to Hospital as a PRIVATE PATIENT.

On admission you will be requested to
complete a Private Patient Hospital Claim Form
which will be forwarded directly to your Health
Fund with the Hospital Account for

Accommodation, no guarantee can be given
that a patient will be placed in a single room.
Every attempt will be made to place you in a
single room or as the only patient in a two bed
bay. However, this may not be possible due to
unforseen patient activity.

As a PRIVATE PATIENT you will receive a
complimentary toiletry pack and dried fruit
basket/pack, daily Advertiser, choice of wine
with lunch and dinner, and a menu choice of
mid meal snacks and free television hire.


Assistance and support can be provided to
Aboriginal &amp; Torres Strait Islander people who
need an interpreter for medical, transport &amp;
social issues. Services of a Traditional Healer
can be provided on request. Ask the Nurse to

contact the Manager Aboriginal Health for any
of these services.

A member from the Aboriginal Health team is
available for Aboriginal &amp; Torres Strait Islander
patients who may require advice or assistance.
Please let your Nurse know and they will
contact the Project Officer of the Port Augusta
Hospital s Step Down Unit.

All Hospital ward areas including Accident and
Emergency as well as the Step Down Unit and
Administration buildings are culturally
blessed/cleansed at least once per year.


Please present yourself to the Admission Desk.
This is located inside the Main Entrance of the
Hospital. The admission process for Day
Surgery procedures is through the Day Surgery

Once you arrive at the Admission Desk or the
Day Surgery Unit, the staff will check your
personal details and complete your admission

You will then be escorted to the ward by a
staff member and shown to your room or
provided with directions to the Day Surgery
waiting area.


In the interest and well being of clients and
staff, abuse of verbal or physical nature will not
be tolerated. 

The Hospital Security Orderlies and/or SAPOL
will be called in the event of an aggressive or
violent situation.


The temperature in the building is kept at a
constant level. We ask that you do not adjust
the Room Temperature Controls.






If you have prescription drugs with you, give
them to your Nurse who will ensure that they
are locked in the top drawer of your locker
during your hospitalisation. These will be
reviewed by the Pharmacist during your
admission and you can ask them any questions
you have regarding their use. 

Pharmacy supply most of the medications you
will need while in hospital - if your medication
is not available through Pharmacy we will need
to use your own medications. These will be
returned to you on discharge from hospital
once the Pharmacist has reviewed them and
explained any changes.


The Hospital Auxiliary consists of a dedicated
group of volunteers who fundraise to provide
additional items for the hospital. There is
always a need for extra help in their initiative
and they are happy to welcome new members
to their volunteer service.

Staff will provide a Contact Name if you are
interested in assisting the Auxiliary.


Sometimes it is difficult to get used to sharing
a room, but you will find that staff will do their
best to allow you as much privacy as possible.

Your actions affect other patients so please
respect their privacy and keep noise to a

Doctors conduct daily rounds. Should you need
to leave the ward at any time, please tell your
Nurse before you go.

Paediatric and Maternity clients)

Boarding facilities are available and can be
arranged with ward staff.

Partners are able to use the Family room after
delivery for one night only and care givers for
paediatric clients are encouraged to stay
throughout the hospital stay.

Certain restrictions may be necessary, e.g.
Boarders may be requested to leave the room,
so that the Nurse/Doctor can effectively carry
out treatment and are also asked to wear
appropriate covered up clothing whilst staying
in the ward area. One patient is allowed one
boarder only.

Meals can be provided for a small fee and if
you have a concession card meals are free. 

All boarders are supplied breakfast every

Consideration for boarding is given in the
event of breast fed babies.


Should your admission be postponed due to
unforseen circumstances, we ask for your
understanding and sincerely regret any
inconvenience caused.


A non-denominational chapel is available for
Patient/Staff/Visitor use. Staff can direct you to
its location.



Most small children miss their families so we
encourage immediate family to spend as much
time with the patient as possible and also to
room in with their child. Parents/Carers can
play a positive role during their child s stay in
hospital by assisting the team with various
routines and by just being with their child. Fold
up beds are available if Parents/Carers wish to
stay overnight.

Certain restrictions may be necessary so that
the nurse can effectively carry out treatment
prescribed by the doctor. Cooperation by
Parents/Carers is appreciated in these

With the changes in Paediatric security, you will
be asked to sign in your child and out again on
discharge. Secure rooms are used in the ward
area and visitors are asked to check with the
nursing staff before attempting to visit any
children in the ward area.


Ministers of Religion visit the hospital on a
regular basis.

Patients are asked on admission if they wish to
be visited by a Minister of a given
denomination. The list of patients who have
indicated their willingness to be visited would
be provided to the visiting Clergies.

The Clergy can be contacted at any time
through the nursing staff on your ward.


SA Health and Country Health SA are
committed to a consumer focussed approach
to feedback as it provides us the opportunity
to improve our processes and the standard of
care we provide.

If you would like to provide feedback about
the service you received, you can:

  Complete a Consumer Feedback Brochure 
and place in one of the yellow suggestion 

  Speak to a staff member

  Contact the Consumer Feedback 
Coordinator, (08) 8648 5715

If you are unhappy with our response or would
prefer to speak to an independent person,
please contact either of the agencies below:

The Manager, CHSA Consumer

Country Health SA Adelaide Office
Telephone: (08) 8226 6153 or email:
The Health &amp; Community Services Complaints
Telephone: 1800 232 007

Aged Care Complaints Investigation

GPO Box 9848
Telephone: 1800 550 552


By coming to hospital you have implied
agreement to general treatment which may be
required for your condition. Certain procedures
e.g. operations, administration of anaesthesia
and certain diagnostic procedures require your
specific consent in writing. Before you sign a
consent form, the nature of the procedure will
be explained to you, and it is important that
you understand what is involved.

You are entitled to ask for further explanation
from your Doctor if you do not understand the
procedure and its likely effects.



No matter how small, donations and bequests
are a very important part of hospital revenue
and are tax deductible. They assist in the
purchase of much needed equipment.


You should discuss with your doctor of the
planned date of discharge.

Patient discharges should occur before
11.00am. The discharge lounge may be used
to allow for patients to vacate the bed before
11.00 am and sit comfortably to await
transport, medications etc. The discharge
lounge is located in the main foyer of the

At the time of discharge please:

  Make sure you have your appointment card
for any follow-up appointments that may 
be required.

  Make sure that you have supplies of 
medication which may have been ordered 
for you to take home. You may be required 
to collect medication from the Hospital 

  Make sure you have received instructions 
and understand the use of your 

  Pharmacy hours for collecting ordered 
medications are 8.45am to 5.00pm.

  Ask the Nursing Staff if you have any 
problems relating to your recovery.

  Arrangements can be made for Community
Services as appropriate by the Nursing Staff
making a referral prior to discharge.

  Collect any valuables.

  Discuss options for transport if required.

  Request information concerning the Step 
Down Unit if interim accommodation is 


Not all items of electrical equipment owned by
patients are safe when used in a hospital.
Examples of electrical equipment which may be
unsafe or dangerous include equipment which
is in need of repair, equipment which causes
interference to vital medical equipment or
equipment fitted with a power cable which is
too short for the available power points. Also
dangerous are extension cables which have
been incorrectly wired.

Because of these possible dangers, personal
electrical items / equipment are not permitted
in the Port Augusta Hospital.


The Hospital schedules Fire and Safety checks
regularly. Should the Emergency Alarms sound
whilst you are on premises, remain where you
are and await instructions from staff.


Private Hairdressers may visit patients in the
hospital and these arrangements can be made.
The patient is responsible for paying the
appropriate fee to the Hairdresser.


For ease of identification and security, all staff
display name badges. Please do not hesitate to
ask staff or doctors who visit you their name
and roles if they do not have their ID displayed.



There are Justices of the Peace on staff in this
Health Service. If you require the services of a
Justice of the Peace, requests should be made
to the Human Resources Unit via the nursing


The Kiosk is situated in the main corridor
leading directly off the Reception/Admission
foyer. The Kiosk is open daily and provides
hot/cold food, drinks, newspapers, magazines,
gifts and toiletries for patients, staff and

The Kiosk is not open on weekends or Public


Please arrange with relatives or friends to
attend to your laundry requirements as
personal laundry facilities are not available.


You must remain within the hospital premises
until you are discharged unless special
arrangements have been made with your
Doctor or ward nurse. 

Should you need to leave the ward for any
reason please advise your ward nurse the
approximate time of your return.

For medical reasons, your Doctor may advise
against leaving the hospital.


Mail is delivered daily Monday to Friday to the
wards. It is important that mail is clearly

Stamps are available from the Kiosk. Any
outgoing mail can be given to ward staff who
will arrange for collection and posting.

Any mail that arrives following your discharge
from hospital will be forwarded to you.

MEAL TIMES (approximate)

Breakfast 8.00 am

Morning Tea 10.00 am

Lunch 12.15 pm

Dinner 5.00 pm

Supper 7.00 pm

The Hospital menu has been formulated with a
Dietitians involvement. On day of admission
patients will receive a menu for the current and
following day. Staff are available to assist you
with your selection.


Please ask your Doctor for any Certificate you
require e.g. Employer, Centrelink, Social
Services, Compensation etc. Do not wait until
you are going home as your Doctor may not
be available at that time.


Newspapers are delivered to the hospital kiosk
daily and are available for purchase. Private
patients will receive a newspaper free of


Relatives or friends are not routinely notified
when treatments are to take place, except
when an immediate or urgent treatment is to
be performed. In that case every effort will be


made to notify your next of kin or a contact
person. When relatives and friends telephone
the hospital to enquire about your condition
only very general information is given, as we
respect your privacy in this regard.


Public car parks are available on the Hospital
grounds. There is no provision for you to park
your vehicle in hospital grounds for the period
of your hospitalisation.

Patients should make their own arrangements
for transport home on discharge.

A Taxi Service is available - telephone no. 8642
2222 or 131008. Please ask Ward Staff for


An important factor is the plastic  bands 
placed on your wrist on admission or on ward,
which must be worn during your stay in

Please check to see that it is accurate.

In some cases an additional band may be
attached when you reach the ward.


This is a free service to patients in the Port
Augusta Hospital where Wildflower Volunteers
assist patients to make their stay in hospital a
more positive experience.

Volunteers can spend time with patients
undertaking some of the following activities:

  Playing cards, games or puzzles for mental 

  Reading books, magazines or newspapers 
to patients with poor vision or physical 

  Provide company by just sitting and talking 
to patients.

  Taking patients for short walks within 
hospital grounds.

  Pampering   hair, nails, makeup, massaging
hands or feet.

  Provide company to patients from out of 
town or those who may not have family or 
friends for support whilst in hospital.

These are just a few of those available.

For further information or to access the
program please contact nursing staff. 


The PATS Scheme provides eligible patients
with assistance for travel and accommodation

Applicants are required to make a personal
contribution of $30 towards travel expenses.
Patients and escorts who are non-concession
card holders are required to pay the first night
of their accommodation. 

Financial assistance may be available for
pensioners and Health Care Card holders.
Appointments are essential.

For more information contact - PATS Officer,
Port Augusta Hospital. 

Phone: 8648 5623.



All South Australian Public Hospital and Health
Units comply with the National Privacy
Principles. These Principles regulate the way in
which personal health information is collected,
disclosed, stored and transferred.

Personal health information includes your
personal details, your health status and, your
medical and social history. This information is
kept in your medical record and many details
are also stored electronically on computer

Personal health information is used or disclosed
only for purposes directly related to our
patients and clients health care and in ways
that are consistent with their reasonable

In the interest of the highest quality and
continuity of care, this may include sharing
information with other health care providers
who comprise a patient s or client s health care
team from time to time.

The typical circumstances in which Port
Augusta Hospital may use or disclose personal
health information are as follows:

  Dealings with

  Your treating specialists

  Your general practitioner or referring doctor

  Your future health care team (following 
discharge from our hospital)

  Other service providers, such as IMVS, 
Perrett s Medical Imaging, Health Funds 
(including DVA where appropriate)

  Billing or debt recovery

  Hospital Committees - quality assurance 
and data management

  Public health/statutory reporting 

  Disease register notifications

  Accreditation processes

Further details are available in the Hospital
brochure on  Privacy and Your Personal
Information  or from the Patient Services
Manager on 8648 5507.


Ask the Doctor:

  Whether you need to return to the 
hospital s Outpatients Department or to 
attend your local doctor s surgery

  What tablets/medication you will need to 
take and any special instructions

  What activities you are allowed to 
undertake, including bathing, exercise etc.

  What foods you are allowed to eat.

If your relatives wish to talk to your doctor,
they should ask a nurse or the ward
receptionist for an appointment.

Ask the Nurse For:

  Any tablets/medication you brought with 
you to hospital.

  Your money and valuables if deposited with
the hospital for safekeeping.

  Assistance with transport home - notify 
relatives, call taxi etc.


To ensure the safety of patients and staff, the
hospital doors, allowing access to inpatient
areas, are locked each night after visiting
hours.  They are kept locked on weekends and
Public Holidays prior to and after visiting hours.



All other doors are kept locked, but can be
opened from inside.

Cash and Valuables

You are requested not to bring valuables or
large amounts of cash into hospital.  If this is
unavoidable please arrange with nursing staff
to have the cash or valuables deposited in the
hospital safe for the duration of your stay.  

Remember to collect your valuables before you
leave hospital.

No responsibility will be accepted for valuables,
cash or personal items retained by you during
your stay.


Health Watch SA has been implemented
throughout the organisation to provide a
reporting and monitoring system for security
issues such as vandalism, theft, loss and/or
damage to property.  If you wish to report any
security issues please discuss this with a staff
member who can assist you to complete a
Health Watch Security Incident Form.


Smoking is the largest preventable cause of
illness and death in Australia. 

The Port Augusta Hospital is committed to
improving and promoting health and therefore
SA Health has introduced a Smoke Free Policy.
From 31 May, 2010 smoking is prohibited at all
South Australian public health services and
hospitals including all buildings, structures,
outdoor areas and car parks. 

Anyone smoking on SA Health premises will be
informed of the policy and asked to extinguish
their cigarette, or move outside the premises to

smoke. Those who do not comply with this
request will incur a $200 expiation notice.

Some smokers can tolerate not smoking for a
few days in hospital without too much trouble.
Some may wish to use hospitalisation as an
opportunity to try to quit smoking for good.
Ideally it is best to quit smoking at least 8
weeks prior to surgery to reduce the risks
caused by smoking; however, stopping
smoking at any time will help. The sooner you
stop smoking before hospitalisation the better.

Hospital staff are available to assist you with
information and assistance with
encouragement and advice about how to
manage withdrawal symptoms and deal with
quitting. Stopping smoking can be difficult and
much easier to do with some help. You may
wish to call the Quitline. Quitline advisors can
give as much information and assistance as
needed to quit; this is a free 7 day service and
includes a call-back service.

Call Quitline 131848 or www.quitsa.org.au for


The Step Down Unit provides short term
accommodation for all patients from pastoral
properties and remote communities serviced by
the Port Augusta Hospital. 

This short term accommodation facility can be
utilised whilst preparing to access hospital
services and/or for patients discharged
awaiting relevant out-patient services and
transport back to their respective remote

This service is not available to residents of the
local community.

Speak to the Ward Staff for further information
on this service.

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hair pieces &amp; clip in hair extensions

  Extensive range of styles in all fashion colours

  Hospital rebates apply

  Wig Servicing

  Professional advice by qualified hairdressers

  Private comfortable fitting room


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2nd shop in from Grenfell St.


43 Years 

Pathology is the examination of blood, 
tissues and bodily fluids, to determine 
the state of your body.

The IMVS Pathology laboratory based at 
the hospital conducts a specialised range 
of tests that can be ordered by your doctor.  
An onsite laboratory means faster analysis
to assist medical staff in your healthcare. 

IMVS Pathology takes care of your
pathology needs as an inpatient, and
continues to support you when you 
leave hospital.

After your hospital stay, your doctor may
request further testing at an IMVS Pathology
patient collection centre.   Locations in the
community and operating hours are on the
back of the form from your doctor, or visit
our website (www.imvs.sa.gov.au) for 
more information.




As a part of its role, the hospital provides
valuable practical experience for students of
health care. These students are undergoing a
training or refresher programme in one of the
health care disciplines and may participate in
your care during your stay in hospital. All
students practice under the supervision of a
qualified staff member.

If you have any questions about the students
involved in your care, please direct your
enquiries to the nurse in charge of the ward.


Incoming Calls:  Telephones are located in each
room to receive calls. Telephone usage can also
be purchased through the bedside
entertainment packages.

Outgoing Calls:  If you wish to make a
telephone call, public telephones are located in
the hospital foyer. Alternatively, Phone Cards
are available from your local newsagency prior
to admission or from the hospital Kiosk during
opening hours. These cards can be used to
make STD calls from your bedside by dialling
 9 .


Patients are requested to send or leave their
mobile phones at home as their use can
interference with medical equipment.


The bedside entertainment services are
provided by Telstra and give patients access to
a number of different entertainment options
on a pre-paid basis. SA Health has arranged for
some exemptions to apply.

The same entertainment package options are
offered at all hospitals that provide bedside
entertainment services. These include:

  Digital television and radio channels 
provided on the free-to-air stations

  A range of AUSTAR channels

  Movies on demand

  A dedicated phone line

  Filtered internet access

Bedside computers are primarily for your
benefit as a clinical device. Interruptions will
occur when doctors, nurses, midwives or other
health care professionals need to access clinical
applications at the bedside, or to undertake
assessment or treatment as part of your care.

If you have paid for a movie, this will
automatically be paused so you can return to it
when the clinical session has ended.

There is a television available free of charge in
the patient lounge, located in the Banksia


Two visitors only are allowed at the bedside of
each patient at one time. Relatives and close
friends of seriously ill patients are permitted at
all hours in all wards.

Visiting children must be accompanied and
supervised by a responsible adult.

At times and particularly during shift changes
visitors may be asked to leave the area because
of the patients need for treatment or review.
The staff will inform visitors when the patient
is free again.




Everyday 3.00 pm - 8.00 pm.


Parent: Anytime with the Nurse s approval.

Please do not bring sweets or food in for your
Child(ren) without consulting the Nurse.


The Community Health Service of the Port
Augusta Hospital &amp; Regional Health Service is
comprised of multidisciplinary teams providing
a comprehensive range of community and
hospital based health services. Our professional
staff have a range of skills to support
individuals and the community to manage and
improve their health.

Services include individual assessment, one to
one therapy, group work, community
education, health promotion to prevent illness,
in home care and community development.

Our team provides a service to:

  Port Augusta and surrounds



  Leigh Creek and surrounds


  Roxby Downs and surrounds

  Coober Pedy

Fees may be charged for some services. Further
information can be obtained when contacting
the service.

Healthy Children

The Child Health program aims to support
children and their families by providing a range
of services that promotes healthy child
development. Services include:

  Child Development Unit (CDU) Coordinated
interagency services

  Early Years Parenting Centre (EYPC)   a 
Communities for Children initiative

  Early intervention child and family support 
for delayed and disordered development

   Your Space  youth health service

Healthy Ageing

Services provided aim to support people to live
safe, healthy and independent lives in the
community. Services include:

  In home support

  Community nursing (including wound 

  Aids for everyday living

  Aged Care Assessment

  Restorative care (Transitional Care Packages)

  Palliative Care

  Continence support

Staying Healthy

A range of services are offered to prevent and
manage illness. Services include:

  Breast care

  Women s Health

  Eat Well Be Active

  Community Foodies

  Respiratory services


  Diabetes management

  Cardio Vascular support

  Quit smoking / tackling smoking

  Aboriginal family wellness

  Chronic Condition Self Management 

Call The Asthma Foundation.  We provide
asthma advice, education, training counselling
and we are here to help you.
We have:
  a telephone HelpLine
  a wide range of brochures on different

aspects of asthma management
  a website with up-to-date and useful information
  a program of community education and 

training sessions

1800 645 130

Do you have asthma? 

Do you know how to
manage it, so that
you can lead a full
and active life? 

Do you want more

Become a
at your nearest
Red Cross Blood Bank

Corner Carlton Parade &amp;
Dartmouth Street, 
Port Augusta

Corner Carlton Parade &amp;
Dartmouth Street, 
Port Augusta

Telephone: 8642 5100
Mobile: 0417 966 612
Facsimile: 8642 5500

Telephone: 8642 5100
Mobile: 0417 966 612
Facsimile: 8642 5500



Mental Health

The Adult Mental Health team provides
specialised one to one counselling, group work
and health promotion activities aimed at
promoting mental, emotional, physical and
social health and wellbeing.

Workers provide information, education,
counselling and support to adults, families and
carers whose lives are affected by mental
health issues.

Services are provided to adults over 18 years of
age, in the Port Augusta community and
throughout the Far North Region of South

For more information:

Central intake: Free Call 1300 760 177
Facsimile 8648 5801


Since Nerrilda opened in 1987, Port Augusta
Hospital has ceased to provide residential
Nursing home beds. Elderly individuals who
may require supported living in an Aged Care
Residential facility are now referred to the
Flinders &amp; Far North Aged Care Assessment

The Commonwealth funds Aged Care
Assessment Teams (ACAT) to provide
assessment, information, advice and assistance
to older people who want to remain at home,
or who are thinking about moving into a low
level (hostel) or high level (nursing home) Aged
Care facility.


If you require further information or access to
any of the services listed below, please ask the
nursing staff or telephone the numbers listed.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services -
Phone: (08) 8648 5800

Drug and Alcohol Services -
Phone: (08) 8648 5873

Royal Flying Doctor Service -
Phone: (08) 8642 2044

Regional Paediatric Unit -
Phone: (08) 8648 5578

South Australian Dental Service -
Phone: (08) 8648 5840


Port Augusta Hospital and Regional Health
Services recognises and promotes the following
set of rights and responsibilities to enhance the
rights of consumers and health care workers.


Except for certain legal exemptions

You have the right:

  To see information kept about you by 
government services, either personally or 
through another person you nominate, and 
to have a copy of this information.

  To seek amendment of your personal 
information and to have comments 
attached to your records or files.

  A fee is charged for your application and 
search of the information. The fee may be 
waived in some cases. 



  The Freedom of Information Act 1991 is 
available from the Patient Services Manager.


Health services are required to keep your
personal information confidential. 

Confidentiality is binding on all health service
workers, paid and voluntary. 

Individuals involved in your care should always
try to make sure that conversations about your
health or other personal matters are held
privately or in quiet areas. 

Health services have to ensure that paper and
electronic information about you is stored
securely. Only authorised personnel involved in
your care have access to information about you
and your care. 

Your personal health information will only be
shared with other health service providers on a
 need to know  basis. This will happen when
they are asked to become involved in your
health care. For example, it is standard practice
for public hospitals to provide a discharge
summary to your General Practitioner when
you leave the hospital and if appropriate
district nursing and community based services.
Also, some health information stored
electronically by one health service is made
available through computer systems to other
health service providers within the public
health system. This exchange of information
ensures that, wherever you are treated, health
professionals will have immediate access to
your personal health records especially in an

Some information about your health may be
used to help health services improve their
services. Wherever possible, any information
used for these purposes will not identify you. 

If you are being treated in a public hospital,
information about you may be shared with
your private health insurance fund (if you have
one) or with a third party, but only if you have
given written authority to do so. 

A third party could include: WorkCover, the
Motor Accident Commission (or another
approved insurer under the Motor Vehicles Act
1959) or your employer.


Participation in decision making and consent to
treatment, except for certain legal exemptions.

You have the right:

  To have all information given to you in a 
language/format you can understand 
including the right:

  To have your illness and treatment options -
including having no treatment discussed 
with you

  To be told of any material risks - a risk that 
you or a reasonable person in the same 
position would consider to be significant 
and have them explained to you

  To be told which treatment your health 
worker recommends so that you can make 
an informed decision about your health 

  To be asked for your consent prior to any 
form of treatment, that this consent be 
given voluntarily and to be given a clear 
explanation of any document you are asked
to sign

  To know why and if the treatment is 
experimental or being used in research and 
to refuse to participate in medical research 

  To change your decision or refuse treatment
at any time and to be given an explanation 



of the possible consequences of not taking 
the advice of the health worker

  To meet the people involved in your care 
and to know their name and qualifications

  To refuse care from a particular health 
worker recognising that the particular 
health service may not be able then to 
accommodate your treatment or care

  To be given information about diagnostic 
tests and to have the results and the 
implications of those results explained to 

  To know the uses and anticipated effects of
the drugs you are being given

  To have an explanation of the chances of 
success, the need for any further treatment,
the likelihood of return to good health, 
convalescence and rehabilitation 

  To refuse admission to a health care facility 
regardless of your condition or against 
medical advice

  To refuse life prolonging treatment or to 
receive palliative care

  To discharge yourself from the health 
service at any time at your own risk

  To authorise another person to make 
decisions for you and to have the same 
rights on behalf of your child.

Children as they get older have the right to be
consulted and to make decisions on their own
behalf. Once 16, they may decide freely for
themselves (on an informed basis) whether or
not to accept treatment.

People under the guardianship of another
person or the State have the right to
participate in decision making - subject to the
court s power to decide otherwise.

In South Australia emergency medical

procedures are allowed to be carried out when
you are unable to give consent, if you require a
life saving treatment.

Information regarding specific exemptions are
available from:

  Mental Health Act 1993

  Guardianship and Administration Act 1993

  Consent to Medical Treatment and Palliative
Care Act 1995

  Criminal Law Consolidation Act (Mental 
Impairment) 1935


Reasonable Care

You are owed a duty of care by health care
workers given their experience and position
and taking into account your individual needs.

You have the right:

  To competent health care which is 
appropriate for your condition or illness

  To health care regardless of your social or 
financial status, age, sex, race, religion, 
political belief, sexuality, disability, health or 
legal status

  To have continuity of care, including 
planning of your continuing health care 
before you are discharged and follow-up 
after you are discharged.

Future health care decisions
(living wills) and Palliative

You have the right to record your wishes about
medical and end of life decisions (including
whether to accept or reject certain treatments)
should you become unable to make such



decisions for yourself at some future time. You
may appoint your own Medical Agent, or an
Enduring Guardian to speak up for your wishes
if you become incapable.

If you do not wish to appoint a person in that
role you can still make your wishes known
about the end of your life in an Anticipatory
Direction. In an advance health care directive
your wishes must be respected and upheld by
service providers. Information regarding the
specific forms is available from:

  Guardianship and Administration Act 1993

  Consent to Medical Treatment &amp; Palliative 
Care Act 1995

You have the right:

  To change this decision at any time

  To receive palliative care and to die with 

  To have access to relatives and/or friends on
a full time basis during the end stage of 

Considerate and Courteous

You have the right:

  To be treated with dignity and consideration
by others

  To have your ethnic, cultural and religious 
practices and your beliefs respected

  To be addressed by your proper name or 
name of your choice

  To be listened to when you have a question
or want more information

  To receive a response to any request you 
make for service or information.

If you have a disability that prevents you from
communicating with the staff and you have a
principal carer, that person will be treated with

the same dignity and respect as you in relation
to your medical care and treatment during the
end stage of life.

Respect for your Privacy

You have the right:

  To decide who will be present during the 
provision of your health care

  To talk with other patients, friends, relatives
and advocates, in order to have your needs 
represented to those providing the health 
service to you

  To feel safe from any form of abuse whilst 
using public health service facilities

  To stay with your child in hospital, except 
where separation is necessary for 
medical emergencies. Conversely, children 
have the right to have their parents 

Asking for an interpreter

You have the right:

  To be offered or to ask staff at the health 
unit you are attending for an interpreter to 
be present. Also relatives, friends or fellow 
patients can assist a consumer who cannot 
hear, read or understand English by asking 
for an interpreter.


You have the right:

  To receive current and clear information on 
the options available, to help you make 
choices about maintaining good health and
preventing illness

  To accessible, user friendly, culturally 
appropriate and affordable health 
promotion services



  To receive information about your 
treatment, drugs and the best way to look 
after yourself and your particular illness

  To information about the health care system
including local services, special 
associations, aids, appliances and facilities, 
which may help you.

Second Opinion

You have the right:

  To seek a second medical opinion and/or 
information from other sources about your 
diagnosis and treatment.


Just as care provided to you should reflect
certain principles you also have a responsibility
to assist with your care.

You have a responsibility:

  To help the staff by being aware of the 
demands on them and by communicating 
your needs with normal courtesy. The 
emergency and immediate care needed by 
another patient will determine how quickly 
your request is addressed

  To tell your health care worker your medical
details including any problems or 
complications experienced previously,
particularly any allergies or medications 
you are taking

  To ask your doctor for a full, clear 
explanation of your treatment, drugs and 
tests which are recommended to you

  To ask for a further explanation if you do 
not understand what you have been told

  To assist with any treatment plan you and 
your health worker have agreed on, for 

example, by following directions given to 
you and by reporting any change in your 
condition to the health worker

  To treat staff with respect, to be non-
abusive and non-threatening and refer to 
them by their proper or preferred name.


Public Hospital Services

All Australian residents are eligible to be
treated free of charge as a public patient in a
public hospital and access should be on the
basis of assessed clinical need, regardless of
the ability to pay.

The range of services available will depend on
the size and role of the hospital and could
include inpatient and outpatient services,
emergency services and specialised services
such as obstetrics and health promotion.

You have the right:

  To know about the expected charges of any
proposed treatment, test or other 
health-related service

  To pay no more than the agreed fee or in 
the absence of an agreement a 
reasonable fee

  To receive an itemised account and to query
any item.

You have the right if you are away from home
and need health care to seek treatment at any
nearby public hospital.

Visitors from certain countries, which have
signed health insurance agreements with
Australia, are also covered.



Hospital Services in 
Rural Areas

You have the right:

  To expect the health services that are 
located in rural areas to provide at least 
a basic range of services for public patients.

If you require more complex treatment that is
not available locally you may be referred to a
health unit where the treatment is available.


Choosing to become a public

You have the right to choose - even if you are
insured privately - when attending a public
hospital to be asked if you wish to  elect  to be
treated as a public or private patient.

If you choose public or private patient care you
have the right to know what this decision

As a private patient you have your choice of
doctor and you will be charged by the hospital
for the services provided. You may also be
charged by your medical practitioner/s. As a
public patient, you do not have your choice of
doctor and no charges will be made for
medical services.

If you are not asked, you have the right to
make your choice known to staff at the

Elective Surgery and 
Waiting Lists

If your condition is not life threatening, you
may be put on a waiting list for elective

You have the right:

  To know your expected waiting time

  To know if there is another health service 
where the wait would be shorter, or if 
there are other options for earlier treatment

  If your condition worsens, to ask through 
your G.P. to be seen sooner.

Medical Services and Visiting
Specialist Services Available
  Clinical Genetic Services

  Emergency Services

  General Medicine

  General Surgery



  Renal &amp; Haemodialysis

  Mental Health




  Ear, Nose &amp; Throat Surgery




  Palliative Care


  Vascular Surgery

  Consulting &amp; Minor Surgery

  Dental Surgery

  Thoracic Surgery (consulting services)




  Eat plenty of vegetables, legumes and 

  Eat plenty of cereals (including breads, rice, 
pasta and noodles), preferably 

  Include lean meat, fish, poultry and/or 

  Include milks, yoghurts, cheeses and/or 
alternatives. Reduced-fat varieties should be 
chosen, where possible.

  Drink plenty of water.

and take care to:

  Limit saturated fat and moderate total fat 

  Choose foods low in salt.

  Limit your alcohol intake if you choose to 

  Consume only moderate amounts of sugars 
and foods containing added sugars.

  Prevent weight gain: be physically active 
and eat according to your energy needs.

  Care for your food: prepare and store it 

  Encourage and support breastfeeding.


1. Be actively involved in your own care.

2. Speak up if you have any questions or 

3. Learn more about your condition or 

4. Keep a list of all the medicines you are

5. Make sure you understand the medicines 
you are taking.

6. Get the results of any test or procedure.

7. Talk about your options if you need to go 
into hospital.

8. Make sure you understand what will 
happen if you need surgery or a procedure.

9. Make sure you, your doctor and your 
surgeon all agree on exactly what will be 

10.Before you leave hospital, ask your health 
care professional to explain the 
treatment plan you will use at home.

Preventing Falls and Harm
From Falls in Older People

Best Practice Guidelines for Australian Hospitals
2009, developed by the Australian Commission
on Safety and Quality in Health Care.

Did you know that many older patients fall
while in hospital? While some falls cause no
injuries, others can cause serious harm. Falls
can also result in you fearing further falls and
make it harder for you to stay independent.

There are usually a number of reasons for
someone falling. These may include poor
balance, incontinence, unfamiliar environments
and obstacles, poor eyesight, unsafe footwear
and some medicines, to name a few.

There are a number of ways
to reduce your chance of
falling. Staff will help you to
stop falling by

  helping you to settle in, keeping your 
surroundings safe, and providing you with 
falls prevention information



  assessing your risk of falling and discussing 
the results with you

  developing and implementing a falls 
prevention care plan suited to your needs

  referring you to other staff who specialise in
different areas

  organising visits by occupational therapists 
or physiotherapists to your home before or 
after discharge, to help make your home 
safer, or to suggest changes to it or 
equipment to help you move safely.

Everyone has a role to play in
preventing falls

What can you do when you
are in hospital?

  Always use your call bell early if you require
assistance and keep it in easy reach.

  Take your time when getting up from 
sitting or lying down.

  Let staff know if you feel unwell or 
unsteady on your feet.

  If staff recommend that you need assistance
or supervision when moving, please ask 
them for this assistance and wait until they 
come to help you.

  Familiarise yourself with your room, its 
furniture and bathroom. Look out for 
hazards that may cause a fall, such as spills 
and clutter, and tell staff about them 

  If you have your prescribed walking aid, 
make sure it is in good condition and that 
you use it rather than using furniture or 
walls for balance.

  If you have spectacles, only wear your 
distance ones when walking. Take special 
care when using bifocal or multifocal 

  Wear comfortable clothing that is not too 
long or loose. Whenever you are up and 
about, wear comfortable, low-heeled and 
non-slip shoes that fit you well, rather than 

  Always keep your fluid levels up, because 
dehydration can disorient you.

What happens if you fall?

If you do have a fall, hospital the staff should
take action to identify what contributed to
your fall and reduce the risk of you falling
again. You may be assessed by a doctor, and
staff will repeat some or all of your fall risk
assessment. This may mean that your care plan
will need to be changed.

However, any changes to your care plan will be
discussed with you.

Remember: Preventing falls is important when
you go home as well, so before you leave
hospital you may be referred to follow-up
services to make your home safer and to
reduce your risk of falling.

Who we are
Family Violence Legal Service Aboriginal Corporation (SA) is funded by 
the Australian Government Attorney General s Department, for services related to
victim-survivors of family violence or sexual assault within Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander communities, currently we have three services operating in South
Australia located at Port Augusta, Port Lincoln and Ceduna.

What we do
FVLSAC is a free and confidential service available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander people who have experienced family violence or sexual assault. Our
organisation provides accessible, safe and culturally appropriate services and

Our legal services include: Legal advice and casework, court support, counselling,
information and referrals, community legal education and intervention and 
prevention programs.

FVLSAC has developed the slogan  Love Don t Shove.  It is a campaign aimed at encouraging families to build
healthier relationships based on love and respect rather than violence. Family violence breaks the hearts of those
closest to us, our communities and has long term effects on all involved.

H O S P I T A L  P A T I E N T S  G U I D E
(Incorporated in Victoria) A.B.N 40 004 494 688

PO BOX 495, Altona, Victoria 3018

Telephone: (03) 9315 6811   Fax: (03) 9315 6844
Email: testrohpg@ozemail.com.au
  COPYRIGHT 2012. This document is the subject of 
copyright vested in Testro Factoring Pty. Ltd.

Port Augusta Hospital, Port Augusta 5364/2012