Making treatment safer

We're helping to make treatment safer for you. We support health professionals to improve the safety of treatment for New Zealanders.

A treatment injury is a personal injury related to treatment from a registered health professional. There are some exclusions.

We encourage ways to keep patients safe.

Encouraging safer treatment

Supporting safer healthcare reduces the amount and severity of harm that may happen when you undergo medical treatment. This means there will be less harm, shorter hospital stays and less chance of re-admission.

In the 2018/19 financial year, we accepted 10,455 claims for injuries caused by treatments. Each of these claims represents someone harmed during treatment. Many of these injuries were preventable.

We're here to assist you when you’re injured. In most cases, injuries will resolve quickly, but for a small number of cases, it can have a lasting impact on you and your family.

We also help  health professionals learn from treatment injuries, to prevent the same injuries from happening again.

To encourage conversations around treatment safety, we've released detailed information on treatment injuries in public and private surgical hospitals.

Supporting treatment safety

We've also produced a guide to help health professionals and people who are injured, understand what is involved in a treatment injury claim.

Treatment Injury - Claim Lodgement Guide

Our treatment safety initiatives

The best way to improve treatment safety is for us to work in collaboration with those on the frontline.

We've committed a $45 million investment to treatment safety programmes between 2017 and 2022.

We have six key initiatives that address:

  • surgical safety
  • infection prevention and surveillance
  • pressure injuries
  • medication safety
  • adverse event reviews
  • brain injuries in newborns.

We work with the Te Tāhū Hauora Health Quality & Safety Commission, Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand, and others to deliver these initiatives.

Find out more about the initiatives:

Supporting treatment safety for providers

Last published: 29 November 2023