Complaint management

The Council can receive complaints about doctors and medical students from anyone. The Council reviews complaints and makes an assessment on how best to address issues raised. This assessment is undertaken by a delegate of the Medical Council in conjunction with the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC).

The Council and HCCC can deal with complaints by:

  • referring a complaint for formal investigation by the HCCC
  • initiating urgent action for suspension to protect the health or safety of any person, or if it is otherwise in the public interest
  • referring a complaint to another person or body, such as an Area Health Service, for investigation
  • referring a matter to the Council to be considered in its Performance or Health programs
  • referring a complaint to the Health Conciliation Registry for conciliation
  • referring a complaint for direct resolution between the practitioner and the complainant, either with or without the assistance of a Complaints Resolution Officer
  • determining that no further action is taken

The Council recognises that investigation by the HCCC and a subsequent hearing before a Professional Standards Committee or NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal is only appropriate where there is evidence of unethical, reckless, wilful or criminal behaviour in clinical or non-clinical domains. In other circumstances, public protection can be achieved and professional standards maintained through the application of non-disciplinary and educative responses.