Talking to the practitioner or health service
If you have questions about your healthcare, it is ok to ask questions and seek explanations. You can do this while you are receiving care, or after you’ve stopped. Sometimes talking to the practitioner or health service to understand what happened can resolve your concerns.
A practitioner is the person who treated you such as a doctor, nurse or dentist. A health service is the hospital or clinic where you had your appointment.
If you don’t get the answers you are seeking or things go wrong then you can make a complaint directly to the practitioner or health service.
This is often the quickest and easiest way to have your concern resolved.
However, we know that there are situations when you can't talk to the practitioner or health service, or don't feel comfortable. For example, if your concern is about unprofessional behaviour (see examples below) you may wish to speak to us first. If your concern is a crime such as sexual assault, it should also be reported to the police.
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What state or territory does the practitioner or student work in?
Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria or Western Australia
For concerns about registered practitioners or students in these states, you can report your concern to Ahpra.
New South Wales or Queensland
There are different arrangements for students and health practitioners practising in Queensland and New South Wales. To find out more about healthcare complaints in these states, contact:
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What is your complaint about?
Concerns Ahpra can consider
- mistakes carrying out procedures or diagnosis
- mismanaging a patient’s personal information
- errors about medication
- infection control issues
- unsafe surgical care or aftercare
- culturally unsafe practice.
- a sexual relationship with a patient or relative of a patient
- inappropriate examinations of a patient
- acts of violence, sexual assault or indecency
- sexist behaviour
- acts of fraud or dishonesty.
We can consider concerns about a practitioner’s health impairment that may present a risk to patient safety. We do not need to know about all health issues, only those that are not managed.
Concerns about students
We can consider concerns about students relating to criminal convictions and health matters.
We consider concerns about some issues that are criminal offences. Because these criminal offences relate to registered health professions, we manage these matters and prosecute where necessary.
- unlawful advertising
- a person falsely claiming to be registered
- unlawful use of a title.
It’s OK to complain
Raising concerns is important because it can help improve the quality of healthcare in Australia. If you have a concern about safety, we want you to tell us about it.
Submit a concern online
Or you can call us on 1300 419 495.
Complaints we can’t consider
Complaints about professions not regulated by Ahpra
- massage therapist
- personal care worker
- social worker.
Ahpra regulates 16 professions, which are listed below.
Complaints about a health service or organisation
- community health centre
- mental health service.
Ahpra regulates individual practitioners, not organisations.
Other complaints about a registered practitioner
- fees and charges
- health record access or correction
- dissatisfaction with the level of service you received.
Contact your local
health complaints organisation
Complaints about a government-funded aged care provider
Ahpra can consider concerns about individual registered practitioners working in aged care. It can’t consider concerns about other types of health workers or about aged care organisations.
Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission
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What type of health practitioner is your concern about?
Ahpra regulates practitioners and students in 16 professions:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners
- Chinese medicine practitioners
- Dental practitioners (including dentists)
- Medical practitioners (doctors)
- Medical radiation practitioners
- Occupational therapists
- Podiatrists and podiatric surgeons
If your complaint is about a different type of healthcare worker, you may be able to raise it with a health complaints organisation in your state or territory.
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How to raise a concern with Ahpra
There is more than one way to raise a concern with us. Choose the way that you feel most comfortable with. If you are unsure about raising your concerns, you can contact us and ask general questions about Ahpra or the process.
Submit a form online
This is the quickest and easiest way for most people to raise a concern with us.
Submit a concern
You can speak to one of our staff if you would like assistance.
Call 1300 419 495
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