There are two ways you can have your complaint heard and responded to by the health service.
You may find these resources useful in your complaint efforts:Sample Complaint Letter How to complain about a GP or clinic information sheet How to write a complaint letter Example of consumer letter to Specialists Example of consumer complaint to GP
1. The first is via the Practice Manager
Every private practice and clinic should have a practice manager who oversees all complaints and communications to and from the service. You can call your clinic or GP to ask for the name and email of the practice manager. You are then able to call to speak with the practice manager, or you can write and post or email your complaint, along with a request for a written response.
2. The second is via the Health and Disability Service Complaints Office (HaDSCO) and/or the Australian Health Practitioners Register of Australia (AHPRA)
- HaDSCO is the overarching body for all health and disability service complaints in WA.
- They can negotiate to provide explanations, apologies, changes in policy, refunds, access to services, education for the medical professionals and conciliation.
- HaDSCO will also communicate with AHPRA if required, and they operate with services in general.
- Please include as much information as you have with the forms; you can write in a separate document and send that with the form if there is not enough room.
- Also include the communication you have had previously with the health service, as HaDSCO requires you to have already submitted a complaint to the service previously.
- HaDSCO offer the following options as outcomes they can work towards, however there is no guarantee that any of these will definitely occur.
- Access to service
- Adequate service
- Change in policy or procedure
- Counselling/other support
- Refund/waiver of fees
- Disciplinary action
- Training/education for service provider
- The option for ‘other’ – in which you can write your own.
- The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA is the overarching body for all health professionals in Australia).
- They handle registrations and concerns/notifications regarding specific health practitioners.
- AHPRA is not able to get an apology or recognition from the medical professional, but they are able to investigate and put conditions on a professional’s practice, suspend or terminate their registration, and implement other disciplinary actions.
- They work from a public safety perspective and engage directly with the practitioner.
If at any point you require advocacy assistance with your complaint and its resolution, you can contact us, the Health Consumers’ Council, for advice on 9221 3422 (extension 1), or via firstname.lastname@example.org
We are not a complaints management service, but we do offer support in navigating the existing complaint systems for WA health consumers.