Health & Disability Commissioner

The Health and Disability Commissioner's (HDC's) office has been set up to protect anyone who uses health and disability services. The agency will help resolve problems between consumers and providers of health and disability services. The Health and Disability Commissioner also aims to improve the quality of health care and disability services.

What are your rights under the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights?

When you use any health and disability services you are covered by certain rights. You have the right to:

  • be treated with respect, including respect for your privacy and your cultural, religious, and social background.
  • be free from discrimination, coercion, harassment or other exploitation.
  • have services provided with enough reasonable care and skill to meet all relevant standards.
  • effective communication with your health care provider; this may include an interpreter.
  • be given the correct information and honest answers to your questions so you can make an informed decision.
  • have a support person with you and the right to complain about a provider.

Rennie Cox can assist you with preparing a complaint to lodge with the Health and Disability Commissioner, or with dealing with Health and Disability Commissioner if you are a provided of health services. A negative Health and Disability Commissioner's report can have serious consequences for a health services provider, and therefore it is important to contact us as soon as you become aware that you may be subjected to investigation.

Director of Proceedings

The Director of Proceedings (DP) is a lawyer appointed under the Health and Disability Commissioner Act.

When the Commissioner has found a breach of consumer rights, he/she may refer the provider to the Director of Proceedings. The Director of Proceedings reviews the case and makes an independent decision on whether or not to take any further action. A team of lawyers and assistants works with him, reviewing files and prosecuting cases.

If your health services provider has been referred to the Director of Proceedings, it is essential that you obtain good legal advice. Talk to Rennie Cox about possible defences to a prosecution..