Complaints: Q&A

Who can file a complaint?

Patients, clients, their representatives, or heirs can file a verbal or written complaint, and may do so by telephone, by post, or in person.

Why file a complaint?

Filing a complaint is a constructive approach to ensuring that a patient or client’s rights are respected. By doing so, you can contribute to improving the quality of health and social services.

To whom should you address a complaint?

Are you unsatisfied by care or services you received? Or do you feel your rights were not respected? It is the role of the Service Quality and Complaints Commissioner to review your complaint and to ensure your rights are respected. However, we encourage you to begin by speaking with those responsible for the care and services in question.

What are your rights as a user?

  • The right to be informed of existing services and how to obtain them.
  • The right to always receive services that are humane, scientifically and socially sound, and provided in a safe and personalized manner.
  • The right to receive services from the professional or institution of your choice.
  • The right to receive emergency care.
  • The right to be informed about the state of your health, and  the available treatment options, and their potential outcomes before consenting to treatment.
  • The right to be informed as promptly as possible of any mishap that occurred while you were being treated.
  • The right to be treated at all times with courtesy, fairness, and with respect for your dignity, autonomy and safety.
  • The right to freely accept or refuse treatments, either on your own or through an intermediary.
  • The right to access your file, which is confidential.
  • The right to participate in decisions that concern you.
  • The right to be accompanied by the person of your choice when requesting information about services.
  • The right to file a complaint without risk of reprisals, to be informed of the complaint review procedure, and to be accompanied or assisted throughout the procedure, if needed.
  • The right to be represented and to have your rights recognized in the case of temporary or permanent inability to give consent.
  • For Anglophones, the right to receive services in English, in accordance with the government’s access program.

What is the role of the Service Quality and Complaints Commissioner?

The local Service Quality and Complaints Commissioner:

  • Applies the complaint examination process.
  • Is answerable to the board of directors for the enforcement of users’ rights, for their satisfaction and for the diligent handling of their complaints.
  • Has to promote the complaint examination process and the code of ethics.
  • Acts on his own initiative when apprised of the facts and when there are reasonable grounds to believe that the rights of a user or a group of users are not being enforced.
  • Takes the necessary steps to ensure that the information required for the formulation and handling of a complaint is provided to the users and the staff.
  • Recommends any measure to improve the handling of complaints, including a review of the procedure.
  • Receives reports of abuse and maltreatment involving vulnerable users and conducts follow-ups with the departments concerned.  

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