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Resources for Patients

Information for patients

The New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) is the country's leading professional medical organisation. Its members come from all disciplines within the medical profession and it is the largest doctors' organisation in New Zealand.

Whether or not you are currently the patient of one of our members, you are sure to be a "health consumer" at some time in your life, and there are various rights and entitlements you should know about.

As well as representing members of the medical profession, the NZMA is also concerned with your rights. NZMA members are bound by various legal and ethical responsibilities. As an example, they must respect any confidences you make in the course of a consultation.

This site has information on both the Health & Disability Commissioner, who protects your rights as a health consumer, and the Privacy Commissioner, who is concerned with issues relating to your rights to privacy.

About your doctor

Doctors are at the heart of the health system in New Zealand. All doctors who practise have had years of medical education and training. Their registration is reviewed annually and their right to practise depends on their meeting stringent standards. Their patients are also protected by disciplinary tribunals that have both medical and lay members.

The NZMA represents doctors from every sector - GPs and private specialists, as well as those who work in our hospitals. All members of the NZMA are bound by the NZMA's Code of Ethics, which requires them always to put the interests of their patients first. In an increasingly complex medical environment, you can trust your doctor to be your advocate in health care.