Frequently Asked Questions

How long will an investigation take?

The Commission attempts to finalise all investigations in a timely manner. Health service providers are given adequate time to provide a detailed response to complaints. Some investigations can be complex and require more time to gather information to make a decision. Independent expert clinical opinion may need to be sourced. Joint consideration with registration boards can also add time to the process.

Why do I have to put my complaint in writing?

The Commission generally requires the provision of a written complaint. This allows you to articulate your concerns, tell us and the person complained about what you are seeking as the outcome of your complaint, and to give the necessary consent in order for us to obtain personal health information. The Commission can assist you to put your complaint in writing if you are unable to do so yourself. A verbal complaint may be accepted in exceptional circumstances, at the Commission’s discretion.

Can you sort this out for me today?

The complaints process is unlikely to lead to an immediate outcome, and the Commission is not a crisis response agency. However, the Intake team may be able to assist in callers facilitating their own outcomes, by providing appropriate referrals and possible solutions.

Can I get financial compensation through Commission processes?

It is possible. The Commission may recommend conciliation as a means to resolve a complaint, either after or instead of an investigation process. Compensation and other issues can be discussed as part of this process. Conciliation is a voluntary process, however, and the Commission does not compel providers to provide compensation. If a provider declines to do so, it may be that personal injury litigation is the appropriate mechanism to progress the issue.

Can I appeal a decision to close my case?

If you are not satisfied with a final decision, you may request a review by the Commissioner. The Commissioner will then decide whether to conduct a full review of the file, re-open the case, or decline to do so. Any decision made by the Commissioner in  relation to a review is final – it is the practice of the Commission to only review a decision once.