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Not happy with the care you received?

Health care in Canberra is usually very safe and high quality. But things can go wrong, even in the best health services.

Your complaint, feedback or compliments can help improve health care for everyone. Good health services and health professionals want your feedback. It helps them offer better care, understand what consumers want, and fix any problems.

If you have thoughts about the care you’ve received, what went well or what could have been better, it is important to give feedback so services can do things better.

HCCA has produced some resources on making complaints in the ACT. These are:

Learn more and share the guides on our page Take Action!

New Code of Conduct for Health Care Workers

From January 2024, you can make a complaint to the ACT Human Rights Commission if a health care worker does not follow the Code of Conduct for Health Care Workers. A health care worker is anyone who provides a health service who is not registered with Ahpra or another professional body. This includes massage therapists, counsellors, social workers, doulas, nutritionists, disability care workers and more.

Under the code, health care workers must:

  • Provide safe and ethical health care,
  • Get your consent for treatment,
  • Keep good records and protect your privacy,
  • Minimise harm and take action if something goes wrong,
  • Have the right insurance,
  • Co-operate with your other health practitioners.

Health care workers must not:

  • Mislead you about their work or qualifications,
  • Put you at risk because of their own health problems,
  • Practice when using drugs or alcohol,
  • Make false claims about curing serious illnesses like cancer,
  • Take advantage of you financially,
  • Tell you not to see other health practitioners.

This is not a complete list of all the obligations in the new code. Read more about the code on the ACT Human Rights Commission’s website.

Contacts for feedback and complaints

Canberra Health Services has an online feedback form that you can use for complaints, compliments and general feedback.

You can also contact the Consumer Feedback and Engagement Teams:

For Canberra Hospital, University of Canberra Hospital and community based services:

For North Canberra Hospital:

You can also give feedback in the ACT Health App or by filling out a paper form at one of the health facilities.

The ACT Human Rights Commission handles complaints about health services and health records in the ACT. Complaints about health services are dealt with by the Health Services Commissioner, Karen Toohey. This includes services provided:

  • Publicly or privately
  • At a hospital
  • By a General Practitioner (GP)
  • By any individual registered practitioners

You can choose to make a complaint to the ACT Human Rights Commission on the commission’s online complaints form or over the phone on 02 6205 2222.

The Commission may set up conciliation between you and the person or service you complain about. This is a free, informal and flexible process that helps you and the health service find a way to resolve your complaint. Learn more about the conciliation process on their website.

If you have any questions about the complaint process or need help completing the form, you can talk to the intake team by phoning 02 6205 2222 or emailing [email protected].

Anyone can make a complaint or raise a concern about a registered health practitioner or student with Ahpra.

Ahpra cover: Doctors, Nurses and Midwives, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers, Dentists, Radiation Practitioners and Radiographers, Physiotherapists, Chiropractors, Occupational Therapists, Optometrists, Osteopaths, Paramedics, Pharmacists, Psychologists, Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Podiatrists.

Ahpra is the only agency that can limit what these health professionals can do, or stop them from working.

You can raise a concern with Ahpra via their website or by phoning 1300 419 495.

Some allied health professionals do not have to register with Ahpra. They register with a professional association instead. Some examples are speech pathologists, dietitians, exercise physiologists, and most complementary or alternative therapists.

If you have a complaint about Medicare you should first contact them on the Services Australia website or by phoning 1800 132 468.

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of that complaint you can make a complaint to the Commonwealth Ombudsman through the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s online complaint form.

The Commonwealth Ombudsman provides an independent service to help consumers who have problems with private health insurance or Medicare.

The Ombudsman can deal with complaints from health funds, health fund members, private hospitals or medical practitioners. Complaints need to be about private health insurance, Medicare or a related matter.

You can contact the Commonwealth Ombudsman via the complaints form on the Commonwealth Ombudsman website or by phoning 1300 362 072.

If you would like to make a complaint or raise a concern about a registered health practitioner or student in NSW, contact:

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