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In the health and social services sector, the Québec Ombudsman intervenes as a second recourse. As a general rule, you must first contact the local complaints and service quality commissioner of the establishment that provided the services that are the subject of your complaint or in some cases the regional complaints and service quality commissioner of your regional health and social services agency.
The health and social services complaint examination procedure informs the users about the type of intervention the Québec Ombudsman may undertake when acting at the second level, after the decision of the local or regional complaints and service quality commissioner.
Complaints concerning doctors, residents, dentists, or pharmacists practicing within a hospital, CLSC, or any other related establishment do not fall within the Québec Ombudsman’s jurisdiction. These complaints must be directed to the local complaints and service quality commissioner, who will transfer them to a medical examiner. If you disagree with the medical examiner’s decision, you may file a complaint with the review committee of the body involved.
Privately run medical, dental, and other healthcare facilities are not covered by this complaint review mechanism unless they hold a service agreement with a health and social services network establishment.
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If you are dissatisfied with the conclusions of the complaints commissioner or if you do not receive a response from the commissioner within 45 days, you may bring your concern to the Québec Ombudsman. We can help you if your complaint or report involves
The Complaints Assistance Center (1 877 767-2227) can also answer your questions and assist you throughout the complaints process.
The health and social services intervention procedure sets out the respective obligations of the institutions and the Québec Ombudsman when the latter is acting in response to a report or on its own initiative.
Did you know that the Act respecting the Health and Social Services Ombudsman allows the Québec Ombudsman to intervene up to two years after the user has received the conclusions of the Service Quality and Complaints Commissioner?
According to section 13 (3) of the Act, a user may appeal to the Québec Ombudsman within 24 months of receipt of the Commissioner’s conclusions. After that period, the Québec Ombudsman may refuse to examine the complaint at the second level, unless the complainant proves that it was impossible for him or her to act within the time required. Furthermore, if the Québec Ombudsman considers that this is justified by the circumstances, it may intervene on its own initiative more than two years after the facts.
Making a report
Any citizen who witnesses a situation which he or she considers a threat to the integrity or safety of an individual or a group of individuals, or who believes that reprisals might be taken against them, may report the situation to the Québec Ombudsman.