Raising concerns with the facility
Complaints about a:
- private hospital
- day procedure centre
- mobile health service
- bush nursing hospital
- cosmetic provider
should be raised with the facility’s complaints officer first.
Every private health service establishment is required to have a complaints officer. The proprietor must take reasonable steps to make sure patients and staff know who the complaints officer is.
Making a complaint can be constructive because:
- if a patient is not happy with their experience at a private health service establishment, this will alert the facility to a problem they might not know about
- if something has gone wrong, the facility can use the complaint as an opportunity to make improvements
- a complaint can not only result in a satisfactory explanation but also lead to improvements in the way the facility staff communicate with patients.
When the proprietor of a private health service establishment receives a complaint, they have to:
- act on the complaint as quickly as possible
- deal with the complaint as discreetly as possible in the circumstances
- tell the patient what action will be taken
- take reasonable steps to make sure the patient is not adversely affected because they made a complaint.
Dissatisfaction with the private health service establishment’s response
If a patient is not satisfied with the facility’s response to their complaint, they can then direct it to the:
- Health Complaints Commissioner - an independent Victorian body that investigates complaints about health service providers
- Private Hospitals Unit, which investigates complaints about the safety of patients and the quality of care in Victoria’s registered private health facilities.