Making a complaint
If you are the patient wanting to make a complaint, you will need to contact the Health and Disability Commissioner first.
Health and Disability Commissioner (HDC) contact details:
- Before making a complaint
- Principles for the assessment and management of complaints and notifications
- Who can make a complaint
- Who to lodge a complaint with
Before making a complaint consider discussing your concerns with the provider you are unhappy with. If that does not resolve your concerns, you may want to take the matter further.
If you have concerns about a doctor and you are thinking about raising them with us, you may want to consider the information below before doing so. One of our professional standards team will be able to talk to you about what information we need and the support available to you.
You can contact us here
The Council’s functions, powers and responsibilities as a regulator are specified in the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (HPCAA). Parts 3 and 4 of the Act specify powers and responsibilities in regard to competence and conduct matters respectively.
The purpose of these principles is to provide a framework for good decision-making about complaints and notifications assessed and managed by the Council. The principles are not intended to cover every specific scenario but rather provide guidance on how complaints should be assessed and managed. The framework applies to the decisions of the Complaints Triage Team (CTT) and of Council.
Download Council's principles for assessment and management of complaints and notifications (July 2014, PDF, 408 KB)
Any person (the consumer, a family member, or even another provider) may complain to the HDC alleging that any action of a provider is or appears to be in breach of the Code.
Complaints can be made to the HDC or us, the Medical Council. We must advise the HDC of any complaints made to us. Contact details for the HDC are at the top of this page.
Complaints made to an advocate that remain unresolved after advocacy assistance must be referred to the HDC, and the Medical Council must refer all patient care complaints about doctors to the HDC. The HDC is responsible for ensuring that each complaint about health care and disability services providers is dealt with appropriately.
Cole's Medical Practice in New Zealand contains more information on complaints.