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What we do

The Office of the Health Ombudsman (OHO) is the place to contact if you have a complaint or notification to make about a health service provided in Queensland.

The OHO is an independent body established under theHealth Ombudsman Act 2013 (the Act).

The OHO provides a single point of entry for health service complaints and operates in a co-regulatory model with the Australian Health Practitioner Agency (Ahpra) when dealing with notifications and complaints about registered health practitioners and students in a registered profession. The OHO also deals with complaints about unregistered health practitioners and health service organisations and facilities.

The key objectives of the Act are to:

  • Protect the health and safety of the public.
  • Promote professional, safe and competent practice by health practitioners.
  • Promote high standards of service delivery by health service organisations.
  • Maintain public confidence in the management of complaints and other matters relating to the provision of health services.

We have a range of functions which include:

  • receives enquiries, complaints and notifications about health services and health service providers, including registered and unregistered health practitioners and take relevant action
  • take relevant action in relation to those complaints including immediate action where necessary to protect the health and safety of the public or where it is in the public interest
  • investigate and report on systemic issues and identify and recommend opportunities for improvement
  • monitor the functions of Ahpra and the National Boards as they relate to registered practitioners in Queensland
  • provide information about minimising and resolving health service complaints
  • report publicly on the performance of the OHO’s functions.

Governance and oversight

The Health Ombudsman has powers under the Health Ombudsman Act 2013 (the Act).

Under the Act, the Minister for Health oversees the administration of the health service complaints management system and the performance of the Health Ombudsman, as well as the performance of Ahpra and the National Boards in relation to registered health practitioners in Queensland. The Minister keeps the Queensland Parliament and the community informed of these matters.

The Act provides for statutory oversight over the OHO’s operations by parliamentary committee. The Health Ombudsman meets with the parliamentary committee at regular intervals throughout the year.

Certain decisions taken by the Health Ombudsman can also be reviewed by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.