7 December f2022 Heath & Disability Commissioner
Dear Mr Orr
Enquiry: Complaint against Ministry of Health re Abortion Pill Reversal
Thank you for your email of 11 October 2022. While I am able to make general comments and indicate those provisions of the Health and Disability Commissioner Act 1994 (the Act) and the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights (the Code) that appear to be particularly relevant to your query, I am not able to give advance rulings on the interpretation and application of the Code.
However, I hope you will find the following comments helpful. You have advised that you wish to lay a complaint against the Ministry of Health “for refusing
to allow women to exercise their right to choose to stop a medical abortion after taking the first drug Mifepristone and prior to taking misoprostol. The second part of [your] complaint concerns the Ministry refusing to allow women to receive health care with the abortion pill reversal programme.”
The Act tells us what complaints we can and cannot look into. We can look at most complaints about health and disability service providers. In order for our Office to assess a complaint there must be a consumer who has received a health or disability service from a healthcare or disability services provider. The Ministry of Health is not considered a provider of health services for the purposes of the Act, because in this case it does not act as a provider of clinical abortion services.
If you have a complaint about an identified provider of abortion services and an identifiable consumer, you are welcome to make a complaint and provide us with information to assess your complaint.