The Australian health system is generally one of the best in the word
go wrong from time to time and in those instances, finding out
to complain to can be difficult.
This page provides some general advice about how (and who) to complain to about health
matters that may help you:
The First Step: Take It Up With Your Health Provider Directly
Most people who work in the health system have the best interests of their
patients at heart and sincerely try to do their best at all times. But being
human, they may occasionally fail to do this. However it's very rare that they'd
ever do so deliberately or maliciously.
So if you feel you have something to complain about, complain to your
health provider first
They'll generally be keen to hear your complaint and will also usually be
happy to work with you to fix the problem as quickly as possible.
Quite apart from often being the quickest and simplest way to
solve a complaint, it's important that you do this because many complaint mechanisms
at higher levels require you to have at least attempted to resolve a complaint
directly with your health provider before you approach them.
Local Government Health Matters
Not all health complaints have to do with the public health system or are even their
responsibility. Local governments (ie councils) are responsible for a small number
of health matters that have the potential to affect public health.
- ensuring that food establishments and vendors serve
foodstuffs in a healthy way
- ensuring that water and sewerage services operate
properly and safely
- ensuring that noise levels in residential areas are kept
at tolerable levels (there are several exceptions to this)
- carrying out immunisations; and
- ensuring that activities which could pollute the
environment are operated safely.
So if you have a complaint that concerns any of these areas, you should contact
your local council and/or a local councillor:
Queensland Health Matters
While most professional health practitioners are expected to operate under
the control of their relevant professional association (eg: Dental Technicians
Board, Occupational Therapists Board etc), in practice any health practitioner
paid or funded by Queensland Health is effectively under the State Government's
Queensland Health services in the South Burnett are run by the Darling
Downs West Moreton Health Service District
(DDWMHSD) which is headquartered
So if you have a complaint that concerns a medical service that you received
from a hospital or a medical practitioner working in a hospital (eg: a doctor,
nurse, radiologist, pathologist etc) you should direct your complaint to
the DDWMHSD by phoning them on (07) 3810-1111.
In other cases (ie where the complaint does not concern a service rendered
in a hospital) you may need to seek out the health provider's relevant
If you still find it difficult to find out exactly who
to complain to (eg:
you received a medical service that was not obviously provided by Queensland
Health or you're unhappy with Queensland Health's response), you can also
bring the matter to the attention of the
Quality & Complaints Commission
The HQCC was established in the 1980s to act as an independent ombudsman
in resolving health complaints. Since that time they've done quite a lot
to raise standards in the State's health systems and they can be useful in
The HQCC will either take up your complaint directly or provide assistance
in helping you locate the right organisation to lodge your complaint with.