Health Complaints

Most doctors do their utmost for their patients, but there may be a time when you are unhappy with the care you receive from a medical practitioner.  If this happens:

  1. Talk to your doctor about why you are unhappy with the care or advice you have received. They should be willing to discuss any concerns you have.
  2. You may prefer to discuss your concerns with another doctor in the practice or the practice manager. If you are unhappy with these responses, or you think the care you received was not of a good standard, then you may consider contacting the Health Complaints Commission.

The Health Complaints Commissioner is an independent and accessible ombudsman. The Commissioner strongly emphasises conciliation in resolving complaints between patients and providers. Serious complaints are investigated. The Commissioner also recommends action to improve health services. You may go to the Commissioner if you have a complaint about the services of dentists, medical practitioners, hospitals, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers in a health setting, ambulances, nursing homes, hostels, supported residential services, nurses, naturopaths, acupuncturists, and others. The Commissioner will determine if your complaint is a serious matter affecting standards of care and whether it should be referred to Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, AHPRA.

How to make a complaint about a health or disability service, or a health practitioner

What can the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency do?

AHPRA receives complaints about registered health practitioners for the relevant Board. The Board registers health practitioners so they can practise their profession in Australia. The Register of Practitioners is available HERE

The Board will act to protect the public if:

  • a practitioner’s behaviour is placing the public at risk
  • a practitioner is practising their profession in an unsafe way, or
  • a practitioner’s ability to make safe judgments about their patients might be impaired because of their health.

The Board can decide to talk to the OHCC about your complaint. For very serious matters, the Board may refer the practitioner to the Tasmanian Health Practitioners Tribunal. The tribunal can suspend or cancel the practitioner’s registration.

If you make a complaint to a Board, AHPRA will update you about what is happening and let you know the Board’s final decision.

What can the Office of the Health Complaints Commissioner do?

You can make a complaint if you:

  • think the way your care was provided was unsatisfactory or unreasonable
  • didn’t understand what happened with your healthcare
  • think you weren’t treated fairly or with respect, or
  • are concerned about the health service.

If the practitioner is a registered health practitioner, OHCC must talk to AHPRA and the Board about your complaint to decide whether the Board or OHCC will manage all or part of your complaint. You can complain to the OHCC about all health services provided in Tasmania including:

  • hospitals
  • medical /dental practices
  • pharmacies
  • ambulance services
  • mental health services
  • some disability services, or
  • all health care workers (registered or unregistered).