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Your Legal Rights

Your Rights When Using a Health or Disability Service in New Zealand

  1. Respect: You should always be treated with respect. This includes respect for you culture, values and beliefs as well as you right to personal privacy.
  2. Fair Treatment: No one should discriminate against you, pressure you into something you do not want or take advantage of you in any way.
  3. Dignity and Independence:  Services should support you to live a dignified, independent life.
  4. Proper Standards: You have the right to be treated with care and skill, and to receive services that reflect your needs. All those involved in your care should work together for you.
  5. Communication: You have the right to be listened to, understood and receive information in whatever way you need. When it is necessary and practicable an interpreter should be available.
  6. Information: You have the right to have your condition explained and be told what your choices are. This includes how long you may have to wait, an estimate of any costs and likely benefits and side effects. You can ask any questions to help you be fully informed.
  7. It's Your Decision: It's up to you to decide. You can say no or change your mind at any time.
  8. Support: You have the right to have someone with you to give you support in most circumstances.
  9. Teaching and Research: All these rights also apply when taking part in teaching and research.
  10. Complaints: It is OK to complain - your complaints help improve service. It  must be easy for you to make a complaint, and it should not have an adverse effect on the way you are treated.

For further infomation on your rights when receiving a Health or Disability Service, please click here.
For information on using the Health & Disability Advocacy Service please call 0800 555 050.

Confidentiality Of Information
All health information obtained by doctors and all staff of Clutha Health First General Practice in the course of caring for you is confidential and will not be disclosed to others without your consent. There are a few exceptions to this rule, usually in the matters of individual or public safety, but your doctor will always discuss any such situation with you prior to any action being taken.

The Health Information Privacy Code (1994), issued under the provisions of the Privacy Act 1993, lays down that the rights of confidentiality apply to all patients and so we are, therefore, unable to disclose any information to other family members without the authority of the patient, unless the patient is incapable of giving that authority.

The code gives no guidance regarding the age at which a child is capable of giving consent, so a decision has to be made for each individual patient. As a rough guide we would expect that most children who have started secondary school will be capable of giving consent, and that information regarding such children would not be released without their permission. Parents may like to discuss this with their children and use such a discussion as a way of emphasizing that everybody has some responsibility for their own health. This issue would normally be discussed with the patient at the time of consultation and the wishes of the young adult noted in their medical notes. If you have any concerns regarding our policy you should speak to your doctor further about this.

Making a Complaint
Please refer to the section on this website titled 'Making a Complaint' for information regarding this process.