Health and Disability Services (Safety) Act

The Health and Disability Services (Safety) Act 2001 is the legislation that underpins the certification of health care services.

Purpose of the Act

The purpose of the Health and Disability Services (Safety) Act 2001 is to:

  1. promote the safe provision of health and disability services to the public
  2. enable the establishment of consistent and reasonable standards for providing health and disability services to the public safely
  3. encourage providers of health and disability services to take responsibility for providing those services to the public safely
  4. encourage providers of health and disability services to continuously improve the quality of those services.

The Health and Disability Services (Safety) Act repealed the following Acts and Legislation:

  • The Hospitals Act 1957
  • The Hospitals Regulations 1993
  • The Old People's Homes Regulations 1987
  • The Obstetric Regulations 1986
  • Sections of the Disabled Persons Community Welfare Act 1975

Providers of health care services to meet service standards

Under section 9 of the Act, a person providing health care services of any kind must do so:

  1. while certified by the Director-General of Health to provide health care services of that kind
  2. while meeting all relevant service standards
  3. in compliance with any conditions subject to which the person was certified by the Director-General to provide health care services of that kind
  4. in compliance with this Act
  5. if the services are rest home care or geriatric services that are hospital care, in compliance with any applicable regulations under section 53(1)(a).

How to get copies of the Act

The Health and Disability Services (Safety) Act 2001 and its amendments are available on the NZ Legislation website:

Standards for health and disability services

Service providers seeking certification under the Health and Disability Services (Safety) Act 2001 will need to demonstrate that their service complies with all relevant approved standards.

Hospitals, rest homes and providers of residential disability care, who are required by the Act to be certified, need to meet the Health and Disability Services Standards 2008. The Health and Disability Services Standards 2008 came into force on 1 June 2009. They replaced the Health and Disability Standards 2001.

All providers of fertility services need to meet the Fertility Services Standards 2007. The Fertility Services Standards came into force on 1 October 2010.

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