When receiving a health or disability service you have the right:
- To be treated with respect.
- To be treated fairly without pressure or discrimination.
- To dignity and independence.
- To receive a quality service and to be treated with care and skill.
- To be given information that you can understand in a way that helps you communicate with the person providing the service.
- To be given the information you need to know about your health or disability; the service being provided and the names and roles of the staff; as well as information about any tests and procedures you need and any test results. In New Zealand, people are encouraged to ask for more information to help them understand what is going on.
- To make your own decision about your care and to change your mind.
- To have a support person with you at all times (rare exceptions).
- To have all these rights apply if you are asked to take part in a research study or teaching session for training staff.
- To complain and have your complaint taken seriously.
If you have concerns about any of the services you are receiving, you have a right to complain. Advocates and advisors are there to help you through the process. You don’t have to put up with a service you’re not happy with.
Problems can arise even with the best services due to misunderstandings or miscommunication. That’s why there are mechanisms and procedures you can use if you are at all dissatisfied with the service being delivered. You have a right to complain and to have your complaint taken seriously. The Nationwide Health and Disability Advocacy Service is part of a group of consumer protection measures provided by the Health and Disability Commissioner Act 1994. It is for all users of health and disability services in New Zealand.
The service provides independent health and disability advocates all over New Zealand.
Their role is to inform consumers about their rights when using health and disability services, helping consumers who have concerns and want to make a complaint, and offer education and training about consumer rights and provider duties to the providers of health and disability services.
The service is free, independent and confidential. Community visits are made to areas where there is no advocacy office. Freephone 0800 555 050, visit the website, or email email@example.com