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Complaints about Doctors

Most doctors do their utmost for their patients, but there may be a time when you are unhappy with the care you receive from a medical practitioner.  If this happens:

  1. Talk to your doctor about why you are unhappy with the care or advice you have received. They should be willing to discuss any concerns you have.
  2. You may prefer to discuss your concerns with another doctor in the practice or the practice manager. If you are unhappy with these responses, or you think the care you received was not of a good standard, then you may consider contacting the Health Complaints Commissioner.
  3. The Health Complaints Commissioner is an independent and accessible ombudsman. The Commissioner strongly emphasises conciliation in resolving complaints between patients and providers. Serious complaints are investigated. The Commissioner also recommends action to improve health services.

    You may go to the Commissioner if you have a complaint about the services of dentists, medical practitioners, hospitals, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers in a health setting, ambulances, nursing homes, hostels, supported residential services, nurses, naturopaths, acupuncturists, and others.

    The Commissioner will determine if your complaint is a serious matter affecting standards of care and whether it should be referred to the Medical Practitioners Board.

    Health Complaints Commissioner
    Level 26, 570 Bourke St  Melbourne Vic  3000
    Complaints and information: 1300 582 113
    Fax: (03) 9032 3111
  4. The Medical Board of Australia is a statutory authority, established to protect the public and guide doctors in relation to standards and professional conduct. The board registers medical practitioners with appropriate qualifications and training, investigates complaints relating to professional conduct and fitness to practice and develops guidelines for doctors on a range of issues. The Board protects the community from any doctor who may be unqualified, incompetent, or unprofessional.

    Medical Board of Australia

    Concerned about a health practitioner?
    For notifications about a health practitioner, see Make a Notification or phone 1300 419 495.