Informed consent

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As a patient, you have the right to be told everything about your health and the care you are receiving. Your consent or agreement is needed before any procedure takes place.

This is called ‘informed consent’ and is part of the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights.

The Code includes three ‘rights’ that make up informed consent:

  • the right to effective communication (Right 5)
  • the right to be fully informed (Right 6)
  • the right to make an informed choice and give informed consent (Right 7).

See the Health and Disability Commissioner website for more information

When you have breast screening, the following information about you might be collected:

  • any information about treatment you have received for your breasts in the past and may need in the future
  • any relevant clinical information – for example, your mammograms and reports.

The information might be collected from the BreastScreen Aotearoa centre that does your breast screening, the Ministry of Health, the NZ Health Information Service or the National Cancer Registry.

This information helps BreastScreen Aotearoa to assess your mammograms as accurately as possible, to give you any follow-up assessment you need, and to ensure you will be invited to your next breast screening.

You will be given more information about your rights when you have your next mammogram. We welcome any comments you have about your breast screening, either by contacting the BreastScreen Aotearoa centre that does your screening or emailing the National Screening Unit here.


Confidentiality is very important and your breast screening results will be sent only to you, and also to your doctor if you have agreed to this. Your mammogram is then stored securely.

How do you make a complaint about any part of BreastScreen Aotearoa?

The Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights lets you make a complaint in a way that is appropriate to you. You should not be treated unfairly in any way because you have made a complaint.  You can ring BreastScreen Aotearoa on freephone 0800 270 200 to find out more about the best options for you. You can contact an advocate from the Office of the Health and Disability Commissioner to help you with your complaint, freephone 0800 11 22 33 or website

Page last updated: 27 November 2014
0800 270 200