What is a Patient Advocate?

A Patient Advocate is an independent professional engaged and paid for by a client to help achieve a particular health outcome for a patient. The client can be the patient, a family member, a friend, a carer, an employer or even a medical care provider. The types of situations a Patient Advocate can assist with include:

  • Attending an appointment to assist the patient to ask the necessary questions and understand the answers so they are better informed about their health care plan;
  • Checking-in regularly with the patient, carer, medical practitioner or nursing staff to ensure consistent quality of care and peace of mind;
  • Assisting a medical practitioner to form a better working relationship with a patient;
  • Arranging second opinions or specialist appointments for medical conditions;
  • Assisting in disputes with private health care funds;
  • Assisting in resolving confusing or conflicting medical opinions between treating practitioners;
  • Providing advice and guidance on available health care resources.
Older couple with doctor

A Patient Advocate will not provide medical or legal advice or make any decisions for you. They do not replace your Medical Power of Attorney or next-of-kin.

Instead, a Patient Advocate will make sure you are informed and confident about the decisions you are making and will assist you to achieve you or your patient’s best overall health outcome.