Your Rights As A Client

Contacting Us

You can contact any Congress service by calling the Congress Switchboard on 8951 4400.

The contact details for our Congress clinics and other services are available here on our website.

If you need advice or want to speak to you doctor, please ring during normal hours. If the doctor you wish to speak to is unavailable, you can speak to another doctor or your doctor will aim to return your call within 24 hours.

You can also send non-medical enquiries to us via our website under the Our Contacts page.

Suggestions, compliments and complaints

We take your feedback very seriously. It is used to improve the quality of our services and programs. 

Please let us know if you have any feedback or suggestions on how we can improve, or if you are not happy with our services. 

You can submit your feedback to us online by completing an online feedback or complaints form here or you can find the form at any Congress clinic. 

If you need, one of our staff can help you put this in writing so that we are clear as to feedback and can follow up as needed.

Open hours

Our normal business hours are 8.30pm to 5pm weekdays. 

Our clinics in Alice Springs are closed Christmas Day.

After hours

Our Gap Road Clinic offers extended hours from 5pm – 6pm weekdays and 8.30am – 12pm weekends.

Our remote clinics offer after-hours access for emergencies only.

Congress also delivers the Alice Springs After Hours General Practice service at the Alice Springs Hospital between 6pm and 9pm every evening and Saturday and Sunday afternoons (and public holidays). The service is available for urgent medical care that cannot wait until regular GP service hours are available. For more information, contact the clinic during its open hours on 0499 993 654 or email afterhoursreception@caac.org.au. This is a walk-in clinic only and no appointments can be made over the phone.

Appointments 

Appointments can be made with your preferred doctor or other health professional by calling our town clinics during normal business hours up to two (2) weeks in advance.

You can also walk-in without an appointment if you prefer or if the clinic is booked out that day. It is better to make an appointment as the waiting time is much less than that for walk-ins.

Remember if the problem is urgent or an emergency, you should call 000.

Appointment reminder

If you have an appointment at our clinic, Congress will remind you the day before. 

If you provide Congress with your current mobile number we can even 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 either 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. 

Transport

Most Congress services offer transport to clients.

Our transport service can collect you from your home or somewhere in town, and can take you home again after your appointment.

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:

  • Only hearing or guide dogs are allowed on buses.  No other animals allowed.
  • Persons who are violent, likely to cause annoyance to other passengers or damage the bus, will be refused travel.
  • No Smoking is allowed.
  • All passengers must wear a seatbelt.

The bus driver has the right to refuse travel to passengers that don’t follow these rules.

Medicine

Congress provides access to essential medicines at its Gap Road Clinic.

Most medicine is supplied to Congress by the health department at no cost to our patients.

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 the Gap Road Clinic on 8951 4444.

Cost

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 details with Medicare if needed.

Your privacy

Your health information is private.

We will only share your information if you have given permission for us to do so, 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.  This may include staff at Alukura, Ingkintja, Social and Emotional Wellbeing, headspace and the Gap Road Clinic. Congress has strict internal processes to ensure your information is protected.

For more information, you can download a copy of our privacy statement here.

Accessing your records

The Privacy Act gives you the right to access your health record. If you would like to access your health record, 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 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) may come to your home address. To protect your privacy the ALO does not know why you need to come to the clinic.