Your midwife or specialist doctor should be the first person you speak to when you have any questions or concerns about your care.
In New Zealand, by law, you have rights to:
- professional care from skilled staff
- be treated with respect, including respect for your culture, values, beliefs, customs, privacy and confidentiality
- know how your information is stored and used, and who it will be shared with
- view any information held about you and to correct it if necessary
- know about the services that your midwife or specialist doctor provides
- have everything you need to know carefully explained, and be able to ask any questions you need so that you can make informed decisions about all the care for you and your baby
- refuse any care offered to you (and to change your mind at any time)
- have someone with you for support
- complain about the treatment you receive.
If you have any questions or concerns about your health care, the information you are asked for or your privacy, you should talk to your midwife or specialist doctor.
If your concern is more about the hospital or birthing centre or someone else involved with your care, you may like to ask your midwife or specialist doctor for help about how to complain. You can also ask to speak to the manager of the hospital.
If you’re worried about asking for help
If you find it difficult to talk to your midwife or specialist doctor, try bringing someone with you when you see them or write a list of questions to ask.
Remember, midwives and specialist doctors are specially trained to work with mothers, babies and whānau. They are used to the things that happen during pregnancy and childbirth – even the things that might seem strange or scary. They are also expected to treat you with respect, including respect for your culture, values, beliefs, customs, privacy and confidentiality.
If you’re still unsure about or unhappy with your care
For midwives, you can visit the New Zealand College of Midwives website or call 03 377 2731. Find out about the Resolutions Committee that the College of Midwives has in each region to help deal with concerns and questions about midwifery care.
For specialist doctors you can visit the Health and Disability Commissioner’s website or call 0800 11 22 33. The Commissioner’s office has an advocacy service that can help you if you are considering making a complaint.
If you wish to lay a complaint
You can lay a complaint with the Health and Disability Commissioner:
- at the Health and Disability Commissioner website
- by calling 0800 11 22 33.