Filing a Complaint Against a Private Clinic

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This article explains how to file a complaint about services given by a health professional in a private clinic.

Important!

Some private clinics are connected to public health and social services network by an agreement. In this situation, you usually have to follow the steps for filing a complaint about public health or social services.

To learn whether a clinic is covered by this type of agreement, you can contact the clinic or a Centre d'assistance et d'accompagnement aux plaintes (complaint assistance and support centre or CAAP). (Note that the CAAP website is in French only.)

Talking Things Over First

The first thing you should do if you are not satisfied with services you received, or if you believe your rights have not been respected, is talk to the people in charge of the clinic. This is often the quickest and easiest way to settle things.

But if your discussions do not solve the problem, then you can file a complaint.

How to File a Complaint

Your first step is to contact the syndic (director) of the professional order of the person you want to complain about. A professional order is an association responsible for overseeing a profession, such as doctors, nurses, etc. You can visit the website of the Office des professions (professions board) for a complete list of professional orders (website in French only). Here are some examples:

Professional Involved Professional Order to Contact
Doctor

Collège des médecins du Québec

Dentist Ordre des dentistes du Québec
Nurse Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec

Based on the information you provide and the results of syndic's investigation, the syndic will decide whether or not to refer the case to the disciplinary board of the professional order.  

If a complaint is filed with an order, the disciplinary board will hear what both sides have to say and decide whether there is a good reason for the complaint. If there is, the board will determine the consequences for the professional. 

For more information on the steps to follow, you can contact the professional order involved (website in French only). 

Important !
This article explains in a general way the law that applies in Quebec. This article is not a legal opinion or legal advice. To find out the specific rules for your situation, consult a lawyer or notary.