COVID-19 concerns and complaints

The Health and Disability Commissioner (HDC) understands the challenging set of circumstances that COVID-19 continues to have on our communities. We acknowledge that COVID-19 is particularly difficult for many of New Zealand’s most vulnerable communities.

A range of issues relating to COVID-19 may arise. HDC is responsible for managing some of these, but others are outside HDC’s jurisdiction.


What concerns and complaints relating to COVID-19 are outside HDC’s jurisdiction?

If you are concerned about the following issues, please direct your complaint to the agencies indicated, as these areas fall outside the jurisdiction of HDC:

Decisions about the public health actions/decisions made by the New Zealand Government in relation to management of the COVID-19 pandemic

 

Ministry of Health or Minister of Health, or Minister for COVID-19 Response

For information from the Government about COVID-19

 

Email: covid-19response@health.govt.nz (Ministry of Health), or
contact a Minister

 

Health providers publicly spreading COVID-19 misinformation, unless incorrect or inappropriate information about COVID-19 was provided to you or someone you know in the course of a consultation relating to a health or disability service

 

Registration authorities (eg, Medical Council, Nursing Council) or the Ministry of Health

For Medical Council, email: standards@mcnz.org.nz

 

For concerns about a nurse

 

For Ministry of Health, email: covid-19response@health.govt.nz

 

Misinformation about COVID-19 or vaccine (not from a health provider)

 

CERT NZ

To report an issue relating to COVID-19 vaccine scam or misinformation

Vaccine mandates, exemption approvals, and general safety of vaccine roll-out

 

Ministry of Health

Email: covid19response@health.govt.nz

Safety/efficacy and approval of vaccines

 

Medsafe

For information about vaccine safety and approval

Disclosing your vaccination status to employers or businesses

 

Office of the Privacy Commissioner or Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)

For information about privacy and Aotearoa New Zealand’s response to COVID-19

 

For information on vaccines in the workplace

 

What concerns and complaints is HDC responsible for managing?

The Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights (the Code) applies to all health and disability services. HDC considers all complaints on a case-by-case basis before deciding what to do next.

If your concerns are about the health or disability services you or someone else is receiving, or have received, and your rights under the Code, you can make a complaint to HDC on our website here.

You can also contact a health and disability advocate. The Advocacy Service can help people to resolve complaints directly with providers of health and disability services. Providers have an important role to play in addressing concerns early. The Advocacy Service can be contacted via freephone 0800 555 050 or visit https://advocacy.org.nz to email or live chat.

Concerns and complaints relating to COVID-19 that we can assist you with:

  • Access to, and the quality of, health and disability services provided to you or someone else during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Infection control procedures used by your health or disability services provider.
  • Quality of services provided to you or someone else during administration of the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Your access to family, whānau, or support while accessing health or disability services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Effective and timely management of illness due to COVID-19.
  • Appropriateness and accuracy of information and advice provided to you or someone else by a health professional about treatment of COVID-19 or receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

Impact of COVID-19

HDC acknowledges the significant pressure on providers of health and disability services, as they continue to provide services as part of the ongoing response to the pandemic.

The situation can change quickly, and the emergence of new variants and increased numbers of cases in the community will put additional pressure on health and disability services, and their workforce.

HDC continues to work closely with the Ministry of Health, Te Whatu Ora/Health NZ and providers, to ensure that people have access to the appropriate care, and receive the appropriate standard of care, to meet their individual needs and circumstances.

HDC is here to help

The health, wellbeing, and safety of our staff and the consumers we serve are our priority.

It is important that providers of health and disability services keep consumers informed and take action to comply with their duties and responsibilities under the Code.

We are paying close attention to people’s concerns relating to the upholding of their rights under the Code, as they are brought to our attention. We will work with the health and disability sector to address these issues on a case-by-case basis in the most appropriate way.

Please note that as a result of the pandemic there has been an increase in the number of complaints to the HDC. Noting this and the potential for future disruptions, it is possible that there may be delays in the processing of your complaint. We will, of course, do our best to provide a timely response, and will be prioritising our resource to the most serious matters.

Thank you in advance for your understanding.


Last updated 10 November 2022