Complaints

Complaints about Health Service Providers in Tasmania

You can contact our office if you have a complaint about your health service provider in Tasmania.  We look into complaints from health service consumers about the provision of health services in Tasmania. You can complain about health service organisations such as public or private hospitals, GP clinics or community health services or about individual health practitioners.

We act independently and don't take sides.  We act in the public interest to promote and protect the rights of consumers who use health services and to improve the safety and quality of health services in Tasmania.

We manage complaints about:

  • treatment
  • access to services
  • quality and safety
  • care and attention
  • respect and dignity
  • fees and charges
  • communication about treatment, options and costs
  • your involvement in healthcare decisions
  • the way your health service provider handles your complaint

Complaints provide feedback for health service providers and can lead to quality improvements in the health system.

Some of the outcomes that we can achieve for you include:

  • an apology
  • an explanation
  • a refund of out of pocket expenses
  • a change in policy or procedure
  • compensation

Some examples of complaints we have finalised can be found on the Case Summaries page.

We can only help with health services in Tasmania. For complaints about health service providers in other states and territories, please contact the relevant health complaints entity in that state or territory.

Issues we can't help with

There are some issues we can't help you with, such as complaints about:

  • the contents of a medical report
  • Medicare or health insurance
  • orders made by the Mental Health Tribunal
  • orders made by the Guardianship and Administration Board
  • health services received in another state or territory.
  • restrictions on prescribing by the Pharmaceutical Services Branch

Other organisations are available to look into issues which we can't deal with or they may be more suitable.

Our Referrals Page sets out some of these issues and gives contact details for agencies which may be able to help you.

Complaint process

What do I need to do?

We ask you to attempt to resolve your concerns directly with the health service provider before submitting a complaint to our office.

Do this by writing  to your health service provider and giving them at least twenty (20) working days to respond to you.

Our tips for making a complaint directly to the provider

How to make your complaint to us

If you do not receive a response, or you are not satisfied with the response, or if you are unable to contact the provider directly, you can complain to the Health Complaints Commissioner.

You can submit your complaint using our online complaint form, or by completing a hard copy complaint form. You can also call us or visit us in person at our office.

We will ask you to put your concerns in writing before we make any enquiries.

Don't wait too long before contacting us, usually the Health Complaints Commissioner will not accept a complaint if you became aware of the issue more than two years ago.

You will need to give us the health provider's contact details.

Explain your concerns simply and clearly, and tell us what you hope to achieve by making the complaint. Please include as many relevant details as you can: the dates of key events, the names of people you've contacted and copies of letters, documents and photos.

What happens next?

Our first step is to ensure that the issues you raise in your complaint fit within our jurisdiction. We can only accept complaints about Tasmanian health service providers from either the person who received the service or their representative.

We cannot proceed to make enquiries until we have written authority to proceed.

If we can't handle your complaint, we will usually refer you to someone else who can.

If we accept your complaint, it will be managed in line with our assessment process.

Make your complaint

If you need more information or are not sure, please contact us.

Updated: 26th May 2021