Tuesday, May 30, 2017

What happens when a patient files a medical complaint?

Doctors and other healthcare professionals train for many years to obtain their license. Even then, the learning does not stop. They have regular reviews and training to update themselves with the new modern practices and medicines.

However, sometimes doctors find themselves on the receiving end of a complaint from a patient.  It might not be genuine, but the same procedures have to be followed. So, what would happen if someone filed a complaint?

Where to file the complaint

Where the complaint is filed depends on where the problem occurred. It might be at the local hospital or the doctor’s clinic. The local authority will need to be informed so the complaint can be recorded and the investigation started.

In many cases, the patient may speak to the doctor or healthcare professional themselves. In this case, they may be able to correct the error if there was one and deal with the matter there and then.

What do the patients want?

Clearly, they want someone to listen to his or her complaint and try to put things right. They want the person responsible held accountable for their actions.

There is a possibility that they may also want some financial compensation for the issue, especially if there are long-term medical problems as a result. The doctor should have already appointed a medical license defense attorney to help them with the complaint procedure and any subsequent trial if it became necessary.


Whatever the outcome of the complaint, the healthcare professional should seek support from friends and family. They should also look for support from someone outside their close personal network.

This will enable them to talk freely about any problems or worries that they might not feel comfortable mentioning to anyone else.

The hospital or place of work should be able to arrange some counseling to help them deal with the stress.

The Complaint

Once the claim is filed, the authority will look at the details and the evidence. The patient may have also appointed their lawyer to help them, so there may be an official request from them to see the medical notes.

Either the doctor or their lawyer will have collected their evidence and submitted it for consideration. The investigation will then commence, and the case will be considered.

The Outcome

If there is found to be a fault with the healthcare professionals care, then sanctions may be imposed on them. It depends on the type of complaint and the seriousness of the issue.

If there is no-one at fault, then the matter will be closed, and the doctor will be able to resume normal working practices.

Filing a complaint against a healthcare professional is a serious issue and should not be taken lightly. However, if there is a problem that needs to be addressed, then the patient should feel comfortable enough to file a complaint and have it investigated. It is important that both parties get the help and support they need.

This is a guest blog entry.

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