When you need to see a doctor or another healthcare person (like a dentist, nurse, physiotherapist, or psychologist), you have the right to choose who comes with you.
You have the right to bring one or more people to support you. This can be anybody you choose. This includes carers, family, friends, advocates or your partner. You can also choose to bring an interpreter. A healthcare person can’t stop you from bringing somebody with you.
Even if other people have come with you in the past, you have the right to change who comes with you, or to go on your own. Even if you do bring somebody with you, you have the right to change your mind at any time. This includes asking that person to leave for part or all of the time.
Just because you let somebody come with you, does not mean they have the right to make healthcare choices for you. Who gets to make these choices depends on other things. Bringing somebody with you also does not mean they can stop you saying what you want to the healthcare person.
Sometimes healthcare people might ask your support person to leave. This can happen because they want to ask you private or sensitive questions. This could include questions about sex, mental health, or how people are treating you at home. You can agree to speak to the healthcare person, but you also have the right to say no.
If a healthcare person does not respect these rights, you can complain. An advocate can help you do this. If complaining to the healthcare person or their boss doesn’t help, you can complain to the Office of the Health Services Commissioner.