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Code of Health and Disability Services - Consumer Rights

Every person who uses health and disability services has rights. The organisations and people who provide health and disability services have duties. See About the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights.

In summary, your rights under this code are the:

  • right to be treated with respect
  • right to freedom from discrimination, coercion, harassment, and exploitation
  • right to dignity and independence
  • right to services of an appropriate standard
  • right to effective communication
  • right to be fully informed
  • right to make an informed choice and give informed consent
  • right to support
  • rights in respect of teaching or research
  • right to complain.

Health & Disability Advocacy

Health & Disability Advocacy provides a free, independent advocacy service to help people ensure their rights are respected.

Phone: 0800 555 050

Email: advocacy@hdc.org.nz

Privacy Act and Health Information Privacy Code

The Privacy Act controls how 'agencies' collect, use, disclose, store and give access to 'personal information'. Find out more on the Privacy Commissioner's website.

The Health Information Privacy Code sets specific rules for agencies in the health sector. It covers health information collected, used, held and disclosed by health agencies and takes the place of the information privacy principles for the health sector.

The Privacy Commissioner's website gives a quick tour of the Health Information Privacy Code rules.

Your health information

The Mental Health, Addiction and Intellectual Disability Service (MHAIDS) collects and holds information about all of clients so we can provide the right care and treatment. Your information is confidential and the only staff who are allowed to see your records are those who are involved in your care.

If you are or have been a client of MHAIDS you have a right to ask and be given access to personal health information.

Read more about accessing health information here.

Privacy when involving family and whānau in care

Involving family and whānau in care of people with mental illness can aid their recovery.

Sometimes families and partners have access to sensitive information about the person who is unwell and must respect their rights to privacy. DHB staff must also respect the patient’s desire and rights to privacy. 

However, family and whānau have legal and other rights to information and support, including:

  • the right to give any information they consider important to health professionals
  • the right to be listened to and to be taken seriously when expressing concerns about a person’s behaviour
  • the right to receive information about a person they are carers for, including the diagnosis, treatment and possible side effects of treatment.

If specifics about a patient's condition or treatment cannot be shared, the DHB can provide general information about mental illness, mental health services and medication.

Families and whānau also have the right to be consulted about discharge plans.

Discharge plans should be developed with families and carers. It is legally required for information about discharge from compulsory treatment to be given to primary caregivers.

Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act

The Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (the Act) is about public safety. Its purpose is to protect the health and safety of members of the public by providing mechanisms to ensure the life long competence of health practitioners.

Read more on the Ministry of Health's website.

Ethical responsibilities of doctors

All members of the New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) must agree to comply with a Code of Ethics for the medical profession. This sets out principles of ethical behaviour for all doctors, including those who may not be engaged directly in clinical practice. It also includes recommendations for ethical practice.

Download the NZMA Code of Ethics here.

Making a complaint

MHAIDS welcomes compliments, suggestions and complaints. Receiving feedback gives us an opportunity to improve our services and to pass on compliments to our hard working staff.

Read more about how to make a complaint here.

Zero tolerance to violence

Patients and families have a right to be cared for and staff have a right to work in a safe and supportive environment. Violence of any kind will not be tolerated in our buildings or grounds.
Last updated 3 April 2018.