Patient rights and your health information

Every person who uses health and disability services has rights. The organisations and people who provide health and disability services have duties. These rights and duties are clearly set out in the Code of Health and Disability Services - Consumer Rights.

In summary, your rights under this code are:

  • Right to be treated with respect
  • Right to freedom from discrimination, coercion, harassment, and exploitation
  • Right to dignity and independence
  • Right to services of an appropriate standard
  • Right to effective communication
  • Right to be fully informed
  • Right to make an informed choice and give informed consent
  • Right to support
  • Rights in respect of teaching or research
  • Right to complain

For more information on your rights as a patient when using health services please click on the following:

Please scroll down this page for information about:

  • Health information about you
  • Accessing your personal information/clinical records
  • What to do if you receive a treatment injury
  • If you have concerns or need an advocate
  • Making a comment, complaint or compliment
  • Requesting the return of body tissue
  • What happens when you have a clinical photo taken

Health information about you

When receiving treatment from any Waikato DHB service, you will be asked to give staff certain information including:

  • personal information such as your age, date and place of birth, address, contact person and ethnicity
  • your health history
  • your family's health history.

We need this information to identify you correctly, to provide your care, and for a number of other important safety, administration and planning reasons. Read the Waikato DHB leaflet Your health information - things you need to know for more details.

Please note:

  • There are strict policies and procedures to maintain privacy and to manage this information.
  • In some cases some of this information may be displayed in areas that are accessed by the public (e.g. your name on ward cubicle door).
  • Some information about you/your health may be collected from or provided to other people and agencies.
  • You don't have to provide us with the information we request. However if you choose not to, we may not be able to treat or care for you properly.
  • If you are unhappy about us sharing your information, please let our staff know as soon as possible.

Your health care team includes us and your GP

  • If you are registered with a GP or medical centre, it is important for them to know about your assessment and treatment in hospital.
  • We share this information with your GP or other health professionals involved in your care because we want to work as a team.
  • We now (from 31 August 2015) give Waikato GPs access to patient information on our clinical computer system.
  • If your GP is accessing this computer information about you, they need to ask your consent and record it in your GP patient notes.
  • The information includes things like your hospital test results, appointments, medications and treatments. 


Accessing your personal information/clinical record

  • You can request access to personal information held by us about you. However you do not have the right to immediate access to your personal information.
  • Requests must be made in writing, preferably using the ‘Request for patient information’ form.
  • If you are unwilling or unable to make a written request, Waikato DHB staff must not insist and must offer you reasonable assistance with making the request, including compliance with identification requirements.
  • Before releasing personal information it will be 'vetted' to ensure that confidential information remains confidential and other people's privacy is not unnecessarily interfered with.


Completed forms should be sent to:

Information Officer
Clinical Records
Waikato Hospital
Private Bag 3200

If you have concerns or need an advocate

If you are unhappy about the service you received from a health and disability service provider, you can

  • take your concerns directly to the person or organisation that provided the service (e.g. for the Waikato DHB see the information below: Making a complaint, compliment or comment)
  • get help and support from friends, family or whanau to raise your concerns with the provider
  • seek the support of a Health and Disability Advocate or contact the Health Consumer Service - these people provide an independent and impartial service, and can listen to your concerns, support and advise you, communicate with the provider and liaise with them on your behalf.

The following brochures are available from Waikato DHB and displayed in patient/public areas:

  • Happy or unhappy about our services?  (Produced by Waikato DHB)
  • Having a problem with a health or disability service? (Produced by Health and Disability Advocates)

Compliments, Comments and Complaints

We welcome and appreciate receiving your feedback

Return of body tissue

If you are coming into hospital to have an operation that involves the removal of body tissue, it is possible to have this tissue returned on request.

Please discuss this with the doctor or nurse / midwife responsible for your care before your operation.

Please note that tissue is only stored for 14 days after testing is complete. In an emergency situation, tissue will be stored until you or your family / caregiver make a decision about having it returned.