Everyone using a health or disability service has the protection of the Code of Rights. An independent commissioner promotes and protects these rights under the Health and Disability Commissioner Act 1994. It’s good to know what your rights are, and how to complain if you have a concern.
You have a right to:
- Fair treatment without pressure or discrimination
- Dignity and independence
- Proper standards To receive a quality service and be treated with care and skill
- Communication To be given information that you can understand in a way that helps you communicate with the person providing the service
- Information To be given information about your health, disability and treatment, the service being provided, and the names and roles of staff; you are encouraged to ask for more information to help you understand what's going on
- Make your own decision about your care, and to change your mind
- Support You may choose to have a support person with you when appropriate
- Teaching and research To have all these rights apply if you're asked to take part in a research study or teaching session for training staff
Making a complaint:
If you're unhappy about a service, there are various ways to seek advice and/or make a complaint.
- In the first instance, raise your concern with the person who provided the service. There's good advice about how to do this at the Health and Disability Commission website.
- If you're not satisfied with their response and still have concerns, try contacting the organisation or government agency that funds the person who provided your service to make your complaint (such as the Ministry of Health).
- You could also discuss your concerns and how to make a formal complaint with an independent advocate provided under the Health and Disability Commissioner Act 1994. Click here to find your local advocacy service or phone 0800 555 050.
- Formal complaints may also be lodged directly with the Health and Disability Commissioner; your local advocate can also guide you about how to do this.
For more information about health and disability rights, and advice about how to resolve complaints or lodge a complaint about a service you're unhappy about, visit www.hdc.org.nz To speak to the HDC about a concern or for advice about making a health or disability service complaint, phone 0800 112 233.