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Health consumers

How to make a health service complaint

You can make a complaint to the Office of the Health Ombudsman by:

Before making a complaint, try talking with your health service provider—this is often the quickest and easiest way to address your concerns or fix a problem. Here are some tips on talking with your provider. If you’re not satisfied with their response, or feel uncomfortable talking with your provider directly, contact us.

If you decide to make a complaint, you will need to provide us with as much information as possible, including:

  • your name and contact details
  • information about the health service provider you are complaining about
  • the details of the issue you are complaining about, including when it happened
  • any supporting documentation
  • information on the steps you have already taken to resolve your complaint
  • what outcome you are seeking by lodging the complaint.

In addition, we may ask you to provide us with more information during our analysis of your complaint to help us make a decision. If we do ask for more information, it is important that you respond within the nominated timeframe. If you do not provide the requested information, the Health Ombudsman may decide to take no further action on your complaint.

While the process of making a formal complaint may seem daunting, we will work with you to make the process as simple as possible, staying in touch every step of the way.

Speaking with us

When you make a complaint, we will listen to your concerns and explain how we can help and what you need to do. Our staff understand that when you’re not satisfied with a health service and wish to make a complaint, that you may be feeling upset or frustrated. However, it is important for you speak respectfully to our staff and listen to what they have to say. If we are subjected to rude or abusive behaviour, we may end an interview or phone call or we may choose to deal with you by correspondence only.

Remember, we are not a health consumer advocacy agency. We act impartially in dealing with complaints. This means that we do not represent either the complainant or the practitioner/health service provider. While we will always take your views into account, we make independent decisions about how your complaint is handled.

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Make a complaint