Investigation into the Health and Disability Commissioner’s assessment of three complaints
It is my opinion that the former Health and Disability Commissioner’s (HDC’s) handling of three separate complaints was unreasonable. I consider HDC’s preliminary assessment processes in these cases stepped beyond what Parliament envisaged a ‘preliminary’ assessment should entail under section 33 of the Health and Disability Commissioner Act 1994 (the Act). This had an undue negative impact on those involved.
It is also my opinion that in two of these cases, HDC’s decision to conclude its preliminary assessment by taking no further action under section 38(1) of the Act was unreasonable. HDC has not persuaded me that it considered all the relevant factors when reaching this decision. I also consider HDC made these decisions in the absence of an adequate complaint-handling policy.
I have recommended that HDC apologise to the two individuals and one provider regarding its separate handling of their complaints. I have also recommended that HDC reconsider its decision to take no further action in two of the cases, and develop a more comprehensive complaint-handling policy.
 Under section 33 of the Health and Disability Commissioner Act 1994.