- Cancer Information
- Practical concerns
- Cancer care and your rights
- Health care complaints
- Steps for resolving a health care issue
Steps for resolving a health care issue
- Identify the problem and what you would like to happen to resolve it.
- Talk to your specialist, a nurse or other health professional so they have the chance to resolve the issue immediately. A quick conversation may help to sort out a simple misunderstanding.
- If your complaint is about a particular person and you don’t want to talk to them directly – or you have spoken to them and the issue remains unresolved – speak to the cancer care coordinator, nursing unit manager or social worker at your hospital or treatment centre.
- If you’re not happy with the response from a health professional, or if you want to talk to someone neutral, contact the hospital’s independent patient representative, complaints officer or patient advocate.
- If you’re not satisfied with the patient representative’s investigation, contact the hospital’s quality assurance department or the clinical governance unit of your area health service. Smaller or private hospitals may not have a patient representative or quality assurance department – contact the nursing unit manager or general manager.
- If you’re still not happy with the outcome – or you don’t want to raise the issue with the health care facility – contact your state or territory health complaints organisation or the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. If you have a serious complaint that you want to take to a health complaints organisation, you may wish to obtain independent legal advice.
Download a PDF booklet on this topic.
Toni Ashmore, Cancer and Ambulatory Services, Canberra Health Services, ACT; Baker McKenzie, Pro Bono Legal Adviser, NSW; Marion Bamblett, Acting Nurse Unit Manager, Cancer Centre, South Metropolitan Health Service, Fiona Stanley Hospital, WA; David Briggs, Consumer; Naomi Catchpole, Social Worker, Metro South Health, Princess Alexandra Hospital, QLD; Tarishi Desai, Legal Research Officer, McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer, VIC; Kathryn Dwan, Manager, Policy and Research, Health Care Consumers Association, ACT; Hayley Jones, Manager, Treatment and Supportive Care, McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer, VIC; Victoria Lear, Cancer Care Coordinator, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, QLD; Deb Roffe, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Michelle Smerdon, National Pro Bono Manager, Cancer Council NSW.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.
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