Under the National Law, AHPRA works with health complaints organisations in each state and territory, to decide which organisation should take responsibility for and manage the complaint or concern raised about a registered health practitioner. These bodies can help you with complaints that AHPRA and National Boards cannot.
If you are in NSW or QLD and want to report a statutory offence, you should contact AHPRA. Statutory offences are managed nationally by AHPRA and include someone claiming to be a registered health practitioner and/or unlawful advertising.
For all other concerns there are different arrangements for people in Qld and NSW. If you live in these states and have a complaint or concern about a student or a registered health practitioner’s health, conduct or performance you should:
In NSW, contact:
In Qld, you can contact the Office of the Health Ombudsman. The Office of the Health Ombudsman (OHO) can be contacted via its website or by phoning 133 OHO (133 646).
Health complaints organisations, sometimes called health complaints entities (HCEs), investigate concerns about health systems or health service providers. They can also investigate certain concerns about health practitioners, such as fees and charges and may also help with financial compensation and dispute resolution processes between health service users and health service providers. This can include mediation and/or conciliation.
The role and powers of the Human Rights Commission in the ACT are slightly different. Find more information on the Human Rights Commission in the ACT.
Our main role is to protect the public by ensuring that only health practitioners who are suitably trained and qualified, and who practise in a competent and ethical manner, are registered.
This means that, when dealing with a complaint or concern, we can only investigate the complaint or concern if it has information that there might be risk to the public.
Other organisations have a different purpose and are set up to resolve a dispute or complaint between a health service user (such as a patient) and a health service provider (such as a hospital, clinic or a health practitioner).
Here are some examples about how organisations and how we deal with different complaints, or how they may deal with the same complaint or concern differently.
Depending on the individual complaint or a concern it might need to be dealt with by us, or another health complaints organisation. It can be the case that a complaint or concern will need to be dealt with by both.
The National Law requires AHPRA to tell a health complaints organisation about a complaint or concern about a health practitioner that could also have been made to them.
Complaints and concerns about registered health practitioners received by a health complaints organisation are then shared with AHPRA.
If a health complaints organisation and AHPRA agree the complaint, the complaint will be managed by the health complaints organisation, discussions with AHPRA may occur during and after their investigation, if needed.
Health complaints organisations and AHPRA work jointly to share information and assess concerns that have been made to both agencies. They decide which organisation should take responsibility for managing a complaint or concern and how it should be managed. If the health complaints organisation and the Board cannot agree on what action to take, the most serious action proposed must be taken.
Find out more about how to make a complaint to you health complaints organisations.