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Office of the Health Services Commissioner
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New Health Complaints Commissioner coming soonThe Office of the Health Services Commissioner is being replaced with a new office of the Health Complaints Commissioner (HCC) from 1 February 2017.
This change follows the passing of the Health Complaints Act 2016 (Vic) in April 2016, which sets out new powers and a more flexible and efficient approach to complaints handling for Victoria’s health complaints body.
Anyone will be able to make a complaint to the HCC about a health service and the definition of health service is broader to address the rapidly changing and expanding provision of health in Victoria.
The HCC will have greater powers to investigate complaints about unsafe, unethical or impaired non-registered practitioners including the ability to initiate own motion investigations. The new HCC will also be able to make public warning statements and prohibit practise where there is a serious risk to the life, health or welfare of an individual or the public. This is in line with a commitment by Health Ministers in April 2014 to address concerns about non-registered healthcare providers with the introduction of a national Code of Conduct around delivery of safe and ethical healthcare. Prohibition orders in force in other states and territories will be recognised in Victoria.
The HCC will be able to receive, analyse and share data more effectively to ensure organisations like the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and the Department of Health and Human Services have the information they need to manage the system. This information will assist us in working with providers to improve their services by sharing trends and suggesting changes.
A set of complaint handling standards for all health services will be developed within the next two years and a practice protocol outlining the standard of service the public can expect from the HCC will be developed within the same timeframe. These are important accountability mechanisms for the health system. An interim set of complaints handling standards exist in the meantime.
This is a fundamental shift in health complaints management and will allow the new HCC to play a greater role in protecting the public and supporting safe and ethical healthcare in Victoria.
Any current complaints with the Commissioner on 1 February 2017 will still be given full attention and managed under transitional arrangements.
2016 Report Summary: Health Services Commissioner receives record number of complaints
The Office of the Health Services Commissioner received a record 4,407 new complaints over the last reporting year, which is a 28% increase on the previous year and 41% greater than two years ago. Learn more in the annual reports section.
Submission to the inquiry into services for people with autism spectrum disorder
The OHSC recently provided a submission to the Family and Community Development Parliament Committee’s inquiry into services for people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). As an entity established to receive and resolve complaints from health service consumers in Victoria, we have a keen interest in identifying issues relating to the health system’s provision of adequate access, information and support to people with ASD and their families. Read our public submission here.
Free Seminar: Health Privacy -An introduction to the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic)
This free introductory seminar is targeted at staff of agencies and health services which collects, discloses or holds health information in Victoria. It will provide an overview of Victorian
Dates: Wednesday 19 October 2016
Time: 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Location: Office of the Health Services Commissioner
Registrations are essential. Please fax your registration form to 03 9032 3111 or email the form to firstname.lastname@example.org at least 2 weeks prior to your chosen seminar date.
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Last updated: 23 January, 2017
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