Your Rights As A Client
You can contact any Congress service by calling the Congress Switchboard on 8951 4400 or freecall 1800 142 900 .
Contact details for all Congress clinics and other services are available at www.caac.org.au.
If you need advice or want to speak to your doctor, please call during open hours. If your doctor is busy, you can speak to another doctor or leave a message for your doctor to contact you.
You can also send non-medical enquiries through our website at www.caac.org.au.
Suggestions, Compliments and Complaints
At Congress, we take your feedback seriously. Your feedback helps us to review and strengthen our services. You can:
- Tell our staff at any Congress location;
- Use the feedback form and box located at all Congress locations;
- Phone your clinic or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org; or;
- Complete an online feedback form at www.caac.org.au.
A Congress staff member, family member, or support person can help you put your feedback in writing.
For complaints, we have a process that we follow that will include you.
Our town clinics are open on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday from 8.30am – 5pm.
On Wednesday, town clinics open from 9.30am – 5pm.
Our remote clinics are open on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday from 8.30am – 5pm.
On Thursdays remote clinics are open from 8.30am – 12pm and for medical emergencies.
Gap Clinic is open Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays (except Christmas day) between 8.30am to 12pm.
Our remote clinics offer after-hours access for emergencies only.
The Alice Springs After Hours General Practice located at Alice Springs Hospital is open from 6pm to 9pm Monday to Friday and from 2pm to 5pm weekends and public holidays. This service is for non-emergency situations. For more information you can contact the after-hours clinic on 0499 993 654 (during open hours only). This is a walk in service only with limited appointments.
For free 24 hour health advice contact HEALTHdirect Australia on 1800 022 222.
For emergencies dial 000.
Appointments at Congress’ town clinics can be made up to two (2) weeks in advance. Contact your closest clinic by calling the Congress on 8951 4444 or freecall 1800 142 900 .
You can also walk in without an appointment. Congress encourages appointments to be made and helps clients have a more efficient wait time.
Remember if it is an emergency, you should call 000.
If you live in a remote community and you need to see a doctor or health professional, please contact or visit the clinic.
If you have an appointment at Congress we will remind you the day before.
If you provide Congress with your current mobile number, we can send you a reminder by text. You can tell us if you don’t want a message sent.
Getting your test results
You will usually receive your results in a follow-up appointment or phone call as arranged when your test was requested. Congress cannot give out the results to anyone except you. You will be asked to identify yourself before information is given out.
Each clinic has a transport service for clients living in the clinic catchment area. Our transport service can collect you from your home, take you to your medical appointment and home again after your appointment. Transport to other locations is not provided.
If visiting a town clinic, remember to book transport at the time you make your appointment. If you call for transport the same day as your appointment, you may arrive late for your appointment.
The transport rules are as follows:
- No animals allowed other than hearing or guide dogs
- If you are violent, likely to cause annoyance to other passengers or damage the bus, you will be refused travel.
- No smoking
- All passengers must wear a seatbelt.
- Children will only be transported if an appropriate car seat is available
The driver has the right to refuse travel to passengers that don’t follow these rules.
Congress provides access to most essential medicines at no cost to you
Medicines can be collected at your local Clinic.
If you do not have a Congress prescription you will need to see a Congress Doctor.
Please remember to order your regular medicine one week before you run out, by calling or visiting your clinic.
Congress services are funded by the government and provided to Aboriginal people at no cost (bulk-billed through Medicare) except for some dental items.
Please ensure you have a valid Medicare card. We can help you update your Medicare details
Your health information is private.
We will only share your information if we have your permission, if it is required by law, or if we need to protect your safety or the safety of others.
Your health information is shared by Congress services through a single clinical information system. Only those professional staff who are part of your care can access this information. Congress has strict internal processes to ensure your information is protected.
For more information, talk to a staff member or download a copy of our privacy statement
Accessing your records
The Privacy Act gives you the right to access your health records. If you would like to access your health records, a Congress staff member can assist you to do so.
Your Contact Details
It is important that we have your correct contact details, so we can contact you about your appointments and test results.
The clinic staff will ask you for your address, phone number and emergency contacts every time you come to the clinic.
If we need to contact you in a hurry, and we don’t have a phone number, an Aboriginal Liaison Officer (ALO) or driver may come to your home address. To protect your privacy, the ALO will not know why you need to come to the clinic.
You have the right to:
• Be treated respectfully;
• Know your treatment options and take part in decisions related to your care;
• Privacy during provision of care;
• Be informed before providing consent for various procedures;
• Feel welcome, safe and secure;
• Friendly, non-judgemental support and assistance;
• Clear information about confidentiality;
• Be heard and supported;
• Comment on your care and have your concerns addressed;
• Refuse to participate in research; and,
• Be explained things in language and words that you can understand.
• Respect our staff and facilities
• Respect other clients using the services
• Refrain from verbal or physical abuse;
• Follow the treatment plan and discuss any desired change with your healthcare provider;
• Provide complete and accurate information as far as possible; and,
• Arrive for appointments on time or let us know if you can’t make it.