Information for complainants
Page contents: Function | Key features of the OHSC process | Who can be complained about | Making a complaint | Response to your complaint | If you are 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 (OHSC) is an independent body established to receive and resolve complaints about health service providers. The OHSC also handles complaints about disclosure of health information and access to health information.
Key features of the OHSC process
Who can be complained about
Anyone can complain about the care they received in Victoria. Healthcare can be provided by:
A Complaint can also be made against any person or organisation that collects and/or handles health information.
Making a complaint
Wherever possible, try to resolve your complaint directly with the health service provider. If your complaint involves a hospital, you can contact the complaint liaison officer or patient representative.
If this does not work, you can make a written complaint to the OHSC. If you need help to put your complaint in writing, ring the OHSC telephone advice line.
Response to your complaint
Your complaint will be sent to the health services provider, asking for a response. The provider is asked to reply within two weeks but sometimes it may take longer.
The OHSC will send you a copy of the response and ask you to consider it. This may be enough to resolve the complaint for you. If so, the file will be closed, you and the provider will be notified.
If you are not satisfied with the response
The OHSC will discuss your unresolved issues with you to see if there is anything further that can be done and what your options are.
You may be asked to provide information to support your complaint. This can include reports from current treating doctors, copies of hospitals records etc.
What happens next
If your complaint remains unresolved, a decision will be made about what should happen next. This will depend on the circumstances of the case, what outcome you are seeking and what explanation the provider has given. 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 the OHSC can achieve a number of possible outcomes. These include:
The officer assigned to your complaint will discuss these options with you.
HSC services are free and confidential
Last updated: 15 December, 2014
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