Understanding your rights
The Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights
sets out ten rights that you have which must be followed by anyone providing any sort of health or disability service, including midwives. This applies to all health services and disability services in Aotearoa New Zealand, whether you have paid for them or they are free. The Code protects your rights as a health consumer and helps resolve any complaints you may have if you feel those rights have not been protected.
You should always be treated with respect, including respect for your culture, values, beliefs, and personal privacy.
No-one should discriminate against you or push you into doing something or making a decision that makes you feel uncomfortable.
Your care and treatment let you live a dignified, independent life.
Everyone looking after you should work together to make sure you are treated with care and skill - and that you receive the right services for your needs.
You have the right to be listened to, understood, and receive information in whatever way you need. Where possible, an interpreter should be provided if you need one.
Your condition should be fully explained to you, to allow you to make informed choices for treatments. You should be given information on the benefits and side effects of treatments and told how long you may have to wait, who will be treating you and any costs involved. You can ask any questions and expect an honest and accurate answer.
It is your decision whether to go ahead with treatments or not and you can change your mind at any time.
In most situations, you can have a support person of your choice with you if you wish.
All these rights also apply when you are taking part in teaching or research.
You can make a complaint about any aspect of your care or treatment. You should be given information on the process involved in making a complaint, and your treatment should not suffer if you do make a complaint.
If you have any concerns about the care you are receiving or you think that your rights have not been respected, you should discuss this with the person or organisation providing the services. You can also ask for help from an independent Health and Disability Advocate
who is trained to help and will advise and support you free of charge. You can contact your local advocacy service by ringing the free phone: 0800 11 22 33.
Find out more
about what you can do if you have a concern about a midwives’ conduct, competence, or health.