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FILING A COMPLAINT

What to do

Why file a complaint?

Are you dissatisfied with the quality of the health and social services or care you’ve received? Do you feel like your rights haven’t been respected? You can express your dissatisfaction by filing a complaint with the Service Quality and Complaints Commissioner.

By doing so,

  • You are ensuring your rights and dignity are respected;
  • You can notify an institution of a dissatisfaction;
  • You are helping to prevent such a situation from recurring in the future;
  • You areimproving service quality.

Centres d’assistance et d’accompagnement aux plaintes (CAAPs) are there to help you with this process. Contact the CAAP in your region.

Contact the CAAP in your region

Contact

1 877 767-2227

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Institutions and organizations covered

Only institutions covered by the complaint examination process can be the subject of a complaint. These institutions are:

  • Integrated health and social services centres (CISSSs) and integrated university health and social services centres (CIUSSSs)
    • Hospitals (CHs)
    • Local community service centres (CLSCs)
    • Residential and long-term care centres (CHSLDs)
    • Child and youth protection centres (CPEJs)
    • Rehabilitation centres (mental and physical disabilities, addiction, and adjustment difficulties)

 

  • University hospitals (CHUs)
  • University institutes (UIs)
  • Institutions serving northern and Indigenous populations
  • Community organizations
  • Intermediate resources (IRs)
  • Family resources (foster families and homes)
  • Pre-hospital emergency services (health communication centres, first responders, ambulance services)
  • Private seniors’ residences (RPAs)
  • Drug or gambling addiction housing resources
  • Private CHSLDs
  • Any other person, company, or organization that health and social services institutions work with
 

DID YOU KNOW? 

Each institution has a Service Quality and Complaints Commissioner whose job is to oversee the institution’s user complaint procedure. The commissioner reports directly to the Board of Directors and has all the freedom and independence they need to carry out their duties.

 

Complaint examination process

Legislators established the complaint examination process to help ensure that the rights provided for in the Act respecting health services and social services are respected.

If you are a user within the meaning of the Act respecting health services and social services, you may file a complaint. You are a user if:

  • You or someone you represent has received or should have received health or social services and you are dissatisfied
  • You are the beneficiary of someone who has received or should have received health or social services and you are dissatisfied
  • You have experienced or witnessed a problem situation involving a physician, dentist, pharmacist, or medical resident practicing within a health and social services network institution
  • You are a private citizen and have witnessed a situation in which the rights of a user or group of users were not respected. You may, in this case, report the situation.

If you are a resident of a private seniors’ residenceor a user of a drug or gambling addiction resource, you can also file a complaint if you are dissatisfied. The complaint will then be examined according to the criteria and certification standards for this type of residence or resource.

Filing a 1st level complaint

A first complaint must be made orally or in writing to the Service Quality and Complaints Commissioner at the integrated health and social services centre, the integrated university health and social services centre, or the institution involved if it is a private CHSLD.

To obtain the commissioner’s contact information, contact the staff of the CISSS, CIUSSS, or institution in question.

If the complaint is of a medical nature, the commissioner will forward it to the institution’s medical examiner. An acknowledgement of receipt will be sent and the complaint will be dealt with within 45 days of receipt. The complaints commissioner or the medical examiner will ensure that the case is handled and will issue their conclusions along with recommendations, where applicable.

Filing a 2nd level complaint

If you are completely or partially dissatisfied with the outcome of the first level complaint, you can file a second level complaint. Your complaint will then be handled by the Québec Ombudsman or by the Review Committee (for medical complaints).

For more information on the Québec Ombudsman’s complaint procedure, we invite you to visit its website. Note that the Québec Ombudsman does not provide a timeframe for processing complaints.

A Review Committee at each institution is responsible for handling second level medical complaints. The processing time is 60 days.

Regardless of the nature of your complaint, the Centre d’assistance et d’accompagnement aux plaintes (CAAP) in your region can assist and support you.