Conversations about informed consent

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Help improve Australian healthcare! By sharing your health experiences and ideas, you can help consumer advocates and consumer organisations work for change that improves things for you, patients, carers, families and communities. 

  • From Latest News's picture

    RACS Patient Information on Surgical Fees

    The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons has developed an information sheet to assist patients with issues surrounding surgical fees. The sheet is available at and covers the following key points - * full disclosure and transparency of fees as early as possible in the patient-doctor relationship * ensuring that patients understand all available treatment options * encouraging concerned patients to seek second opinions on recommended treatments and the fees to be chargedRead more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Post-concussion syndrome

    Canberra GP basically accuses me of being neurotic by researching and providing info about my child's condition -- post-concussion syndrome -- which the GP admitted he knew little about. I, a researcher, have researched this topic for the past 8wks. so have learned quite a lot. Even the neuro he referred my child to didn't seem to know much about the condition & has been reluctant to make a diagnosis given that there is a pending worker's comp claim. GP & specialist are both proceeding in every way that is contrary to all of the current literature on this condition, yet...Read more
  • My Story's picture

    Discount Disposals

    This post has come from a consumer from QLD who wished to remain anonymous. ____________________________________________ In my experience, Palliative Care doctors hoover around hospital corridors like a pack of vultures ready to swoop on misfortune. It seems like their job is to reduce the burden of cost. “Mr Hope you’ll have to change your name. The health system can’t afford hope. Doctor Know-it-all has met with his infallible team and they have concluded that your cancer will almost certainly return. No use wasting time, the sooner we organise a smooth exit the better, and the...Read more
  • CHF Team's picture

    SBS Insight - Saving Health

    The SBS Insight program ‘Saving Health’, aired on Tuesday 24 February 2015. The episode discussed topics including eHealth, the Medicare co-payment, and home centred-care. Some interesting points were made during the conversation, and the perspective of a number of health professionals, and some consumers were heard. Do you feel like the consumer perspective was covered in this debate, or in the debates around health reform more broadly? Are there questions that need to be asked, and perspectives that need to be shared? Watch video on YouTube If the video isn’t showing in this post, you...Read more
  • Lolli's picture


    I've been off pristiq now for 4weeks it's a bit hard to tell if all the withdrawal symptoms have gone or not as I was having so many side effects from taking this drug I've been on 100mg for 2years. I've been telling my doctor for over 12mths that it really doesn't seem to be working and the side effects that I was having including hives, diahorra, restlessness, leg tremors, blurred vision, fatigue, no appatite at all, sleeping all day and the list just goes on. Finally my doctor sent me to a phyciatist and guess what I don't have depression not that anyone can...Read more
  • From Latest News's picture

    Consultation: Draft Ethical guidelines for organ transplantation from deceased donors

    The NHMRC is developing ethical guidelines for organ transplantation from deceased donors following a joint request from the Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand and the Organ and Tissue Authority. The Australian Health Ethics Committee ( AHEC ) is overseeing the development of the Ethical Guidelines, with advice from an Expert Advisory Group comprising members with relevant knowledge and expertise in ethics, transplantation medicine, and consumer issues. The intent of the Ethical Guidelines is to inform ethical practice in: assessing the eligibility of an individual for...Read more
  • Zan's picture

    Depression and treatment can be Mental Health torture.

    In my experience battling with Depression/Severe Anxiety Disorder/Head Injury/Frontal lobe damage, being first placed on anti-depressant pharmaceuticals — suffering horrendous side effects (greater suicidal thoughts, zombie like, inability to sleep, inability to concentrate, inability to control bodily functions, heart palpitations, stomach upset, severe heartburn) — then having to go through the process of what GP ’s and Mental Health professionals call ‘fine tuning’ (trialling different anti-depressant brands) — and then, because none of these medications had efficacy,...Read more
  • My Story's picture

    Communication is key

    One of the CHF staff took a call from a lady who had seen an OurHealth advertisement in a bus. We have paraphrased the consumer’s concerns below. —————————————- Don’t doctors in Australia have to tell you the truth? Can you tell me if they have a legal obligation to tell you the truth? Because they don’t always tell you the truth or tell you everything you need to know, and they don’t always treat you with respect. And it makes me feel very bitter that doctors haven’t told me what I need to know about my...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Was the advice regarding my grandmother ignored prior to her discharge from Royal North Shore Hospital.

    I recently witnessed my grandmother be forcibly restrained and dragged kicking and screaming into an ambulance. It was distressing for me and it seemed, extremely distressing for her. How she came to be in this situation is a story that I can only believe is one, of woeful incompetence or wilful arrogance. My grandmother was admitted to Royal North Shore suffering from seizures brought about by hypernatraemia. Having suffered this brain injury she was incoherent and exhibiting markedly different behaviours than she ever had previously. Prior to her admission she was cognitively very highly...Read more
  • From Latest News's picture

    The costs of medical imaging

    Have you been told to come back the next day for another medical imaging service? ABC News recently spoke to CHF about the costs of medical imaging, and a loophole that has been discovered that sees some medical imaging companies bringing consumers back on different days in order to get additional Medicare payments. The story has sparked intense debate on the ABC News facebook post (which you can read at ). CHF have created a Diagnostic and Informed Consent Consumer Resource which can help you to better understand your options when...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Medication for a non existing emphysema at Ballina District Hospital

    Went to Ballina Hospital feeling tired and run down. I was asked 1, 000 questions so to speak. I spend the night in hospital. In the morning, without any tests, that I knew of, for emphysema (I had told them that I smoked when I was young). They prescribed me AND later the GP 'insisted' I had to take for the rest of my life Ventolin inhaler (Salbutamol B. P. ) 3 times/day. I know I do not have emphysema...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Stroke management at the Epworth Hospital Richmond

    I am deeply concerned about the standard of care. A family member was admitted with a stroke. The medication she was prescribed (and also medication not prescribed) as a result of this I do not believe was in line with the Australian stroke guidelines. I felt that no reasonable explanation for this was given when this was challenged. I do not think the doctor had taken an adequate history of her previous medical conditions, which I think was relevant to the medications prescribed. Even more concerning to me was that the doctor told me that a test result was "normal" when it I do not...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Dying father's care questionable at Flinders Medical Centre.

    My father was admitted to Flinders Medical Centre. When I arrived he was on a trolley in the corridor in the emergency department unattended. After hunting a staff member down I was told he had had a stroke, couldn't speak and had right sided weakness. Knowing that a stroke is time critical I asked about treatment and understood that as nobody was with him when he was found it was probably too late. Although it seemed that my family's knowledge of my father was ignored when it came to assessing the time of stroke given the circumstances in which he was found. This made me feel a...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Do not believe that the treatment was of expected professional standard.

    I was referred by GP for inspection of my larynx and had examination of my ears resulting in bleeding and deafness. The consultation was in Tasmania by an ENT specialist. I believe the request sent by my GP was for an inspection of my larynx only, as I had excessive mucus in my throat which was causing me problems when I had to talk for long periods of time. My ears were under the care of Hearing Australia and giving me no grief. They had been examined 2 days prior and declared OK with a minimum of wax. I had no idea what the intention was when the doctor asked me to climb up 2 or 3 steps...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    Ambulance Service andRedland Hospital

    The ambulance was called when I fell and hit my head. From the moment they arrived from the Birkdale station I felt in good hands. They were calm and caring. They talked me through everything and explained and asked questions and permission as if I was part of the solution to the situation. I felt fully informed and cared for. When we arrived at the hospital they handed me over - with a comprehensive explanation and then just left - no fuss. I was introduced to the ED doctor immediately and assessed - he consulted a superior at one stage. I was sent for scan. My haematoma was cleared and...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    My tubes were tied against my wishes and without consent

    I had a planned caesarean in 2011 and had earlier decided not to have my tubes tied and withdrew consent. The doctor who performed my surgery made me feel so small and insignificant and, in my opinion went so far as to insult me because I had changed my mind. I found out not quite a year later that my tubes were tied. As to how they were tied or clamped or cut, no one seems to know. The only reason I found out was because of the excruciating pain I was in when I ovulated. I now suffer insomnia, irregular incredibly heavy periods, ovary pain, acne, intense itching, constipation, mood swings...Read more
  • CHF Team's picture

    Have you had any experiences when you’ve been surprised by the cost of treatment?

    A lack of informed financial consent is a big issue for many consumers. CHF often hears from consumers who haven’t received all the information about the costs of their treatment upfront, and get a nasty shock when the bill arrives. Have you had any experiences when you’ve been surprised by the cost of treatment? Or have you had good experiences when doctors have provided you with all the information about costs in advance?Read more
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