Information for providers
Page contents: Key features of the HSC process | Who can be complained about | What happens when a complaint is made | If the complainant is not satisfied with the response | What happens next | Outcomes | Download document
In Victoria individuals have a right of access to their health information and to make complaints about health service providers. The Office of the Health Services Commissioner (HSC) is an independent statutory authority established to receive and resolve complaints about health services. The HSC also handles complaints about disclosure of health information and access to health information.
A complaint can be made against any health service provider, for example:
A complaint can also be made against:
When HSC receives a complaint the first step is to send it to the health service provider to give them the opportunity to respond. With the provider’s consent, a copy of the response will be sent to the complainant.
Many complaints are resolved through the provision of an explanation, detailed information or an apology where needed. This can be achieved at an early stage without the need for direct intervention by HSC. Most people who complain to HSC want to know what went wrong and why, and they want to know that there have been improvements made to prevent similar incidents in the future.
If the response does not satisfy the complainant’s concerns, HSC will identify the unresolved issues. The complainant may be asked to provide information to support their complaint. This can include reports from current treating doctors, copies of hospital records etc.
If the complaint remains unresolved, a decision will be made about what should happen next. This will depend on the circumstances of the case and what outcome the complainant is seeking. There are three options:
Most complaints that are unresolved after the initial assessment phase are either closed or referred for conciliation.
Making a complaint through HSC can achieve a number of possible outcomes. These include:
Last updated: 11 October, 2006
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