Doctors

The next steps to take if you are unable to resolve an issue with a doctor.

Who do I go to?

The Health and Disability Commissioner(external link) to request assistance from a Health and Disability Advocate or if you feel that your issue has not been resolved.

The Medical Council of New Zealand(external link) to make a complaint about the doctor.

The District Court(external link) OR Disputes Tribunal (external link)to claim a fees refund because of a breach of your rights under the Consumer Guarantees Act or the Fair Trading Act.

What kind of problems do they handle?

You can complain if you are unhappy about:

  • a breach of your rights under the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights
  • professional misconduct
  • the doctor's competence
  • breaches of the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights, discrimination, sexual harassment and racial harassment, and privacy principles.

What do I need to do?

  1. First contact the doctor to complain about your treatment, products you received, or their facilities. If you need help with your complaint, contact an HDC advocate. If you can't resolve the problem directly, you can:
  2. Make a complaint to the HDC who may decide to investigate the case. The HDC may decide to refer before a disciplinary tribunal, before the Human Rights Review Tribunal (HRRT), or before both. You may need to be witness
  3. If the HDC doesn’t refer your case to the HRRT, you may also bring a claim, but only after:
    • the HDC has investigated your complaint first and a breach of the Code has been found
    • the Commissioner has decided not to refer the matter to the Director of Proceedings
    • the Director declines or fails to take proceedings.

Alternatively you can:

  1. Contact the Medical Council of New Zealand who have their own complaints process.

What else do I need to consider?

Your doctor must:

  • have a complaints procedure
  • acknowledge your complaint within 5 working days
  • provide you with a copy of their complaints procedure and any relevant external complaints processes.

The HDC, Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal (HPDT) and the Medical Council of New Zealand can’t award compensation or damages. The HPDT can award costs.

The Human Right’s Review Tribunal (HRRT) can award damages if it finds that the Code has been breached.

Where can I get more information?

The Health and Disability Commissioner  

Offers advocates to help with initial complaints to practitioners and a complaints procedure for unresolved complaints.

Visit the website (external link)
Phone: 0800 112 233

Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal 

Information about making a complaint to the Trbunal and the procedures it follows.

Visit the website(external link)

Human Rights Review Tribunal

Provides information on the tribunal and the process of making a claim.

Visit the website(external link)
Phone: (04) 462-6660
Email: hrrt@justice.govt.nz

Medical Council of New Zealand

Provides information on standards, conduct and competencies of doctors and how the public can make a complaint.

Visit the website(external link)
Phone: 0800 286 801

Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) Customer Resolutions Team

Provides guidance how to claim compensation for an injury caused by treatment from the services of a health practitioner

Visit the website(external link)
Phone: 0800 650 222
Email: customerfeedback@acc.co.nz

Office of the Privacy Commissioner

Provides information on the Privacy Act and how to make complaints about breaches of the Act.

Visit the website(external link)
Phone: 0800 803 909

The Commerce Commission

Provides information how to make a complaint if you feel a business is not complying with the Fair Trading Act.

Visit the website(external link)
Phone: 0800 943 600
Email: contact@comcom.govt.nz

Office of the Ombudsman

Provides information on how to raise a complaint about a government department or how an investigation was carried out.

Visit the website(external link)
Phone: 0800 802 602