Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights

Patient Rights

The Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers Rights (1996), a regulation under the Health and Disability Commissioner Act 1994, applies to all health and disability support services in New Zealand. It gives rights to all consumers of these services and is the principal mechanism for dealing with complaints about any health or disability service in New Zealand.
When patients use any of our health services they are covered by the Code of Rights. The following is an outline of those rights:

1) RESPECT
You should always be treated with respect. This includes respect for your culture, value and beliefs, as well as your right to personal privacy

2) FAIR TREATMENT
No one should discriminate against you, pressure you into something you do not want or take advantage of you in any way

3) DIGNITY AND INDEPENDENCE
Services should support you to live a dignified, independent life

4) PROPER STANDARDS
You have the right to be treated with care and skill, and to receive services that reflect your needs. All those involved in your care should work together for you.

5) COMMUNICATION
You have the right to be listened to, understood and receive information in whatever way you need. When it is necessary and practicable an interpreter should be available.

6) INFORMATION
You have the right to have your condition explained and be told what your choices are. This includes how long you may have to wait, an estimate of any costs and likely benefits and side effects. You can ask any questions to help you be fully informed.

7) IT'S YOUR DECISION
It is up to you do decide. You can say no or change your mind at any time

8) SUPPORT
You have the right to have someone with you to give you support in most circumstances

9) TEACHING AND RESEARCH
All these rights also apply when taking part in teaching and research

10) COMPLAINTS
It is OK to complain - your complaints help improve service. It must be easy for you to make a complaint, and it should not have an adverse effect on the way you are treated.

For further information on The Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers Rights (1996) visit the Health & Disability Commission website at: www.hdc.org.nz

Patient Advocate

If you have concerns at the service you are receiving or believe your rights have been breached and you wish to resolve your problem/concerns outside the hospital, you may wish to contact the Health and Disability Consumers Advocacy Service.

An advocate will support consumers who believe their rights under the Code of Rights have been breached. Advocates are employed by services independent of health and disability service providers and funders, and from government agencies. This is a free service provided under the Health and Disability Commissioners Act 1994.

Contact: Phone Invercargill (03) 214 0415 or Freephone 0800 555 050

  • Gore Hospital
  • 9 Birch Lane
  • Gore 9710

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