Patients confused about health complaints

Healthcare consumers are confused about how to make complaints against medical practitioners and believe the system is stacked against patients, a parliamentary inquiry has heard.

Medical complaint handling in NSW is currently the remit of the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC), an independent state government body that investigates and prosecutes complaints against health care providers.

On Monday, HCCC commissioner Kieran Pehm told a parliamentary inquiry into complaint handling in the state that there was a long way to go to create the “perfect” complaints process with the health system.

Mr Pehm said some consumers were confused about how to access complaint mechanisms against healthcare providers.

Earlier, Public Interest Advocacy Centre lawyer, Peter Dodd, called for a network of “independent advocates” to be set up at hospitals to act for patients, including to help them make complaints.

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