If you are unhappy with any aspect of the service or care being provided by your doctor, we suggest that you follow these steps to resolve the issue:

  1. First discuss your concerns with your doctor. Very often, they will welcome your expression of concern, as it helps them to improve their standard of service, or to discover a problem within their practice.

    If you feel uncomfortable doing this on your own, take a friend or relative with you as a support person. Or you can use the services of an independent Health and Disability Advocate.

  2. If you are not satisfied by your doctor's response and you feel that your rights as a patient may have been breached, you should contact the office of the Health and Disability Commissioner. The Commissioner will determine whether there has been a breach of any of the 10 Consumer Rights set down in the Code.

The Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights applies to all providers of health and disability services. The Code sets out 10 rights, including the right to be treated with respect, to be free from discrimination or exploitation, to dignity and independence, to services of an appropriate standard, to give informed consent, and to complain.

Your local advocacy service and the Health and Disability Commissioner can be reached on freephone (0800) 112 233, website: www.hdc.org.nz, email: hdc@hdc.org.nz.