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.
How to make a notification
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.
The Nationwide Health and Disability Advocacy Service is a free service that operates independently from all health and disability service providers, government agencies and HDC. If you want to know more about your rights when using health or disability services, get questions answered, or make a notification, they can help
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.
The Health and Disability Commissioner (HDC) is an independent watchdog, providing health and disability services consumers with a voice, resolving notifications, and holding providers to account for improving their practices at an individual and system-wide level.
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
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to make a notification directly to the Medical Council.
When you use a health or disability service in New Zealand, you have the protection of a Code of Rights. This page on the HDC website outlines those rights.