Patient rights

Your rights

As a consumer of oral health care (and other health and disability services), you have the protection of the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumer Rights (the Code). An independent Commissioner promotes and protects these rights under a New Zealand law called the Health and Disability Commissioner Act 1994

The Code of Rights establishes the rights of consumers, and obligations and duties of providers. These are:

  1. To be treated with respect.
  2. To be treated fairly without pressure or discrimination.
  3. The right to dignity and independence.
  4. To receive a quality service and to be treated with care and skill.
  5. To be given information that you can understand in a way that helps you communicate with the person providing the service. 
  6. To be given the information you need to know about your health or disability; the service being provided and the names and roles of the staff; as well as information about any tests and procedures you need and any test results. In New Zealand, people are encouraged to ask questions and to ask for more information to help them understand what is going on.
  7. To make your own decision about your care, and to change your mind.
  8. To have a support person with you at most times.
  9. To have all these rights apply if you are asked to take part in a research study or teaching session for training staff.
  10. The right to complain and have your complaint taken seriously.

If you are worried or unhappy about the service, or something goes wrong, and you feel your rights have been breached, read more about our complaints process

You can also learn more about the Health and Disability Commissioner on its website