Making a notification as a patient

Notifications from patients will be referred to the Health and Disability Commissioner (HDC)

If you notify us directly, we are required by law to refer your notification directly to the HDC. If the HDC starts a formal investigation, they will advise us and we will determine whether to begin our own process alongside theirs.

Do you want to make a notification about the treatment you have received from a doctor? If you are a patient, or a family member or support person to a patient, you have a number of options.

Think about contacting the doctor or practice/hospital

If you want to make a notification about the treatment you have received from a doctor your first option might be discussing the matter directly with your doctor or the relevant practice or hospital. If you feel this is not appropriate, or doing so does not resolve the issue, you may wish to consider contacting the Nationwide Health and Disability Advocacy Service (the Advocacy Service) for advice.

Notifications to the Nationwide Health and Disability Advocacy Service

The Advocacy Service is free of charge and independent from all health and disability service providers and government agencies. They will put you in touch with a local patient advocate who will help you understand your rights and advise you on the best way to make a notification. You can contact the Advocacy Service via their website or by calling 0800 555 050.

Notifications to the Health and Disability Commissioner

You can make a notification directly to the HDC. The HDC's role is to promote and protect your rights as set out in the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights (The Code).

The HDC tries to resolve notifications fairly and quickly. If they decide the Code has been breached,the HDC may require the practitioner to make changes to the way they practise., for example making improvements to their informed consent material and procedures. The HDC may also refer the matter to us.

In some circumstances, the HDC may refer the matter to the Director of Proceedings. If this happens, the doctor may have to answer charges in front of the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal. For more information about this please contact the HDC directly.

You can contact the HDC via their website or by calling 0800 112 233.

Notifications to the Medical Council

If you make a notification directly to the Medical Council, we are required by law to refer your notification directly to the HDC.

If the HDC starts a formal investigation, they will advise us and we will determine whether to begin our own process alongside theirs. However, if an HDC investigation concerns a doctor’s professional conduct, we are unable to investigate this at the same time.

Please note the HDC and the Medical Council cannot:

  • award compensation
  • review Accident Compensation Corporation decisions
  • assist with access to health services or funding
  • amend a death certificate