The complaint process
Complaints raised by, or on behalf of, patients must be notified to the HDC. The HDC process looks at the complaint from a health consumer perspective. For complaints raised by a doctor, or another health professional, about another doctor, the process is different, the complaint comes to us.
On receipt of a complaint from a patient or health consumer, the HDC is required to make a preliminary assessment of the complaint to decide what course of action, if any, is appropriate. The HDC Act supports resolution of complaints at the lowest appropriate level.
The HDC may refer the complaint onto, or back to, the Medical Council. We then must act promptly to decide what action should be taken.
Medical Council Process
We have a complaints triage team who review the complaint and decide how best to proceed.
We may decide to refer the complaint onto the Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) for investigation. Read more about conduct.
We may refer the complaint onto the Performance Assessment Committee (PAC) for investigation. Read more about competence.
We may refer the complaint onto the HDC if the complaint is from a patient or health consumer. The HDC website.
In general, our decisions on complaints can ultimately extend to one or more of the following outcomes:
- referral of the matter to a professional conduct committee (PCC) for investigation
- referral of a competence matter to a performance assessment committee (PAC) for assessment
- referral of the subject matter of the investigation to the Police
- an educational letter to the doctor
- that no further steps be taken in relation to the subject matter of the investigation.