Your rights as a patient and/or health and disability services consumer are set out in the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights, which is a regulation under the Health and Disability Commissioner Act 1994.
Health and disability service providers have an obligation under law to uphold your rights and comply with the code. The code applies whether or not you are paying for a service - and applies to all health and disability service providers including: GPs; hospitals (public and private); all registered health professionals, such as doctors, nurses, and dentists; alternative/complementary/holistic health practitioners, such as naturopaths, homoeopaths and acupuncturists.
If you believe that your rights have been breached you may make a complaint with the health and Disability Commissioner.
The Code of Rights
The right to be treated with respect.
The right to freedom from discrimination, coercion, harassment, and exploitation.
The right to dignity and independence.
The right to services of an appropriate standard.
The right to effective communication.
The right to be fully informed.
The right to make an informed choice and give informed consent.
The right to support.
Rights in respect of teaching or research.
The right to complain.
Resources and Links
The Health and Disability Commissioner
The full Code of Rights
The Health and Disability Commissioner Act 1994
Making a Complaint
The Advocacy Service
The Nationwide Health and Disability Advocacy Service is a free service that operates independently from all health and disability service providers, government agencies and HDC.