About us

The Health Complaints Commissioner acts independently, impartially and in the public interest.

Our role

The Health Complaints Commissioner is an independent officer appointed by the Governor.  The Commissioner is also the State Ombudsman (external link).

The Commissioner's role is to:

  • promote and protect the rights of consumers who use health services
  • help resolve problems between consumers and providers of health services
  • improve the safety and quality of health services in Tasmania.

We look into complaints from health service consumers about the provision of health services in both the public and private sectors.

The Commissioner works directly with consumers and health service providers. His work includes:

  • Managing complaints and enquiries
  • Providing information, education and advice on health rights and responsibilities
  • Encouraging and helping consumers to resolve complaints directly with providers
  • Assisting providers to develop procedures for resolving complaints
  • Maintaining links with health service providers and related organisations
  • Working with public authorities that protect the rights of individual Tasmanians

Our services are free.

Our history

The Office of the Health Complaints Commissioner was established in 1997 by the Health Complaints Act 1995.

The Act required the Commissioner to develop a draft Charter of Health Rights and Responsibilities. The Charter was tabled in Parliament in 1999. It sets guidelines to balance the rights and responsibilities of the providers and consumers of health services, and to strengthen the relationship between them.

Since the publication of the Charter, the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights (external link) has been published by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. The Australian Charter was endorsed by Australian Health Ministers in July 2008. With its adoption, it is likely that a State Charter will no longer be required.

Find out more about previous Health Complaints Commissioners.

About the Commissioner

Mr Richard Connock was appointed as Tasmania's Ombudsman and Health Complaints Commissioner in July 2014 for a period of five years, and was reappointed for a further five years effective from July 2019.

He was appointed Director of the Office of the Ombudsman in April 2011, and prior to that was the Principal Officer, Ombudsman.

He has extensive experience as a barrister and solicitor, principally in Victoria. Following his move to Tasmania in 2000, however, Mr Connock focused more on consultancy than legal work and before joining the Office of the Ombudsman, provided investigation, conciliation and mediation services for a number of government agencies and private organisations.

As with previous Ombudsmen, Mr Connock also serves as the Health Complaints Commissioner, who acts independently of government to promote and protect the rights of consumers who use health services, and to help resolve problems between consumers and providers of health services. In addition, he is Tasmania’s inaugural Custodial Inspector.

Careers

Any job vacancies will be advertised on the Tasmanian Government Jobs Website (external link).

We currently have no vacancies.

Updated: 3rd May 2021