To whom should I address my complaint?

Every institution and regional board has a designated person in charge of receiving and handling complaints concerning the services for which it is responsible. This person is called a service quality commissioner. All complaints must be addressed to this person.

Can I get help formulating my complaint?

The service quality commissioner or the Health and Social Services Ombudsman can help you formulate your complaint and take any other steps related to its examination.

You can also be assisted or accompanied by:

  • a person of your choice (a relative, a friend, someone else you trust);
  • the user committee of the institution;
  • the center designated for that purpose in the region where you live. This service is free of charge and confidential.

Does my complaint have to be filed in writing?

A complaint made to the institution or regional board may be filed verbally or in writing. A complaint made to the Health and Social Services Ombudsman must be filed in writing.

How will my complaint be handled?

The service quality commissioner will confirm, in writing, the date on which your complaint was received. As of that date, she will have 45 days in which to examine your complaint and inform you of her conclusions.

In order to pinpoint the problem and try to solve it, the service quality commissioner will ask you for your version of the facts. She will meet with the people concerned and may consult your record. She will attempt to find the best possible solution.

After examining your complaint, the service quality commissioner will inform you of her conclusions, the reasons behind these conclusions, and the solutions being considered.

Can I file a complaint concerning a physician?

If your complaint concerns a physician, dentist or pharmacist, the service quality commissioner of the institution will forward it to the medical examiner and will inform you of this.3

The medical examiner is designated by the institution to investigate this type of complaint. She will proceed in the same way as the service quality commissioner and will inform you of her conclusions and the reasons behind them within 45 days.

In the case of serious misconduct that may call for disciplinary measures against the professional concerned, the complaint will be handled according to another, potentially lengthier procedure. In that case, you will be notified of the investigation's progress at least every 60 days.

Services provided by physician, dentist or other professional in private practice are not covered by the complaint examination system unless the practice is linked, through a contract or service agreement, to a public or private institution that is itself covered by the system.


3: If the problem is related to the administration or organization of medical services, the service quality commissioner of the institution will examine the complaint.

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