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The Health and Social Services Network Complaint Examination System

All users of the health and social services network who believe their rights have been infringed or are dissatisfied with the services received may express their dissatisfaction or file a complaint.

The complaint examination system is a procedure that ensures:

  • The evaluation and treatment of complaints filed by users
  • Support for users in their complaint filing proceedings

Your Rights

As a user of the health and social services network, you have the following rights:

  • To be informed:
    • About the status of your health
    • About the care available to you and the effects
    • About services available in your area and how to obtain them
  • To receive personalised and adequate health and social services that are scientifically, humanly and socially appropriate
  • To be informed of all accidents occurring during the provision of services, if these accidents may have consequences on your health
  • To choose the professional or institution that will provide the care and services that you need
  • To be sufficiently informed so as to be able to freely participate in decisions concerning you, for instance, to accept or refuse care or services
  • To consult your user file, which is confidential
  • To receive emergency care
  • To be treated with courtesy, fairness and in a safe manner, as well as with respect for your dignity, autonomy and needs
  • To receive services in English if you are an Anglophone user, as provided for in your region’s access program
  • To be accompanied, assisted or represented by a person of your choice when needed
  • If you feel your rights have not been respected:
    • Be informed about what you can do
    • File a complaint confidentially
    • Be assisted or accompanied in the procedure

You may consult the original version of users’ rights in the Act Respecting Health Services and Social Services This link opens a new window.(R.S.Q. chap. S-4.2).

Reporting

If you feel that the rights of a user or group of users are being infringed upon, you can act. You can inform the service quality and complaints commissioner (ombudsman) of the resource or institution in question. You can do this verbally or in writing. This person will intervene as needed.

Why File a Complaint?

Filing a complaint is a constructive gesture that ensures that users’ rights are respected, and contributes to improving the quality of health and social services.

Filing a complaint is a confidential process. 

Who Can File a Complaint?

  • Yourself or a representative
  • The heir or legal representative of a deceased user
  • Any person who discovers that the rights of a user or group of users have been infringed

Resources and Institutions Covered by the Health and Social Services Network Complaint Examination System

The following resources and institutions are covered by the health and social services network complaint examination system:

  • Hospital centres
  • Residential and long-term care centres (CHSLD)
  • Adaptation, rehabilitation and social integration services:
    • For people with physical disabilities
    • For people with an intellectual disability or a pervasive developmental disorder
    • For people with an addiction
    • For mothers in trouble of adaptation
  • Protection and rehabilitation services for youths in trouble of adaptation and their families
  • Local community service centres (CLSC)
  • Intermediate resources:
    • Supervised apartments
    • Rooming houses
    • Reception homes
    • Group homes
  • Family-type resources:
    • Foster families
    • Foster principal places of residence
  • Community organizations
  • Drug or gambling addiction housing resources
  • Private seniors’ residences
  • Ambulance transport services*
  • Integrated Health and Social Services Centre (CISSS) or Integrated University Health and Social Services Centre (CIUSSS)
  • Any other person, company or organisation with whom the health and social services institution works

The complaint examination system covers both public and private resources and institutions.

Your Recourse

Complaint filing proceedings may involve several stages:

  • Talking it over before filing a complaint
  • Filing a 1st level complaint
  • Filing a 2nd level complaint

Talking It Over Before Filing a Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the care and services you have received or if you believe that your rights have not been respected, you must first talk about it. Contact staff in charge of care and services at the institution with which you have a problem to discuss the issue.

If this first step does not produce desired results, you may file a complaint.

Filing a 1st Level Complaint

The person to whom you should address yourself to file the complaint is the service quality and complaints commissioner for the resource or institution in question.

This person role is to:

  • Respond to your complaint or transfer it to the appropriate authority
  • Promote the quality of services
  • Ensure respect of your rights

You can file a verbal or written complaint. It will be dealt with in complete confidentiality.

To know who to send your complaint to, see To Whom is a Complaint Made?

To Whom is a Complaint Made?

  1. If your complaint is concerning a resource or an institution covered by the health and social services network complaint examination system:
    Who Should You Speak To? What Will Happen Next?

    To the service quality and complaints commissioner for the resource or institution in question.

    You can get the commissioner’s contact info by consulting the section:

    *Special case: If your complaint concerns ambulance transport services in the Montreal and Laval areas, you must speak with the Service Quality and Complaints Commissioner, Corporation d’Urgences-santé at 514 723-5600 poste 5606.

    Within 45 days following receipt of your complaint, the commissioner will inform you of the following:

    • Their conclusions
    • Solutions sought to resolve the problem
    • Corrective measures they have recommended to the persons involved
  2. If your complaint involves a health professional who practices in a health and social services institution, for example: a doctor, dentist, pharmacist or medical resident.
    Who Should You Speak To? What Will Happen Next?

    To the service quality and complaints commissioner for the institution or resource in question.

    You can get the commissioner’s contact info by consulting the section:

    The commissioner will send your complaint to the medical examiner.

    The role of the medical examiner is to treat complaints concerning professionals practicing in a health and social services institution.

    Within 45 days following receipt of your complaint, the medical examiner  will inform you of the following:

    • Their conclusions
    • Solutions sought to resolve the problem
    • Corrective measures they have recommended to the persons involved

    You also have other options:

    Within 90 days following receipt of your complaint, the Collège des médecins du Québec or the professional association will inform you of the following:

    • Their conclusions
    • The progress of the inquiry conducted following your complaint
  3. Special case:  Complaints concerning the private practices of doctors, dentists or other health professionals.

    Some private practices are bound by a service agreement to an institution in the health and social services network and some are not. Only practices bound by an agreement are covered by the complaint examination system.

    You must therefore first verify if the private practice involved in your complaint is bound by a service agreement with an institution in the network. To find this out, ask the private practice’s staff or the regional service quality and complaints commissioner.

    If your complaint concerns a professional working in a private practice:

    Who Should You Speak To? What Will Happen Next?

    If the private practice is bound by a service agreement with an institution, speak with the service quality and complaints commissioner for the institution involved.

    You can get the commissioner’s contact info by consulting the section:

    Within 45 days following receipt of your complaint, the local commissioner  will inform you of the following::

    • Their conclusions
    • Solutions sought to resolve the problem
    • Corrective measures they have recommended to the persons involved

    If the private practice is not bound by a service agreement with an institution:

    • If your complaint concerns a doctor: speak with the Collège des médecins du Québec This link opens a new window.
    • If your complaint concerns a dentist, a nurse, a psychologist or all other professionals: speak with the professional association This link opens a new window. of the person you wish to lodge a complaint against
    • If your complaint concerns the operation (access, schedule, etc.) of a private practice: speak with the management of the practice

    Within 90 days following receipt of your complaint, the Collège des médecins du Québec, the professional association or the management of the private practice will inform you of the following:

    • Their conclusions
    • The progress of the inquiry conducted following your complaint

Filing a 2nd Level Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your first level complaint, you can begin proceedings for a second level complaint.

Your second level complaint can be lodged verbally or in writing. It will be treated with complete confidentiality.

To Whom is a Complaint Made?

  1. If you are dissatisfied with the response or conclusions of the local or regional service quality and complaints commissioner:
    Who Should You Speak To? What Will Happen Next?

    To the Quebec Ombudsman:

    The Quebec Ombudsman will examine your complaint and follow-up within 60 working days after receipt.
  2. If you are dissatisfied with the response or conclusions of the medical examiner:
    Who Should You Speak To? What Will Happen Next?

    To the review committee of the institution where the health professional you are complaining about works.

    You can obtain the review committee’s contact information from the institution’s executive management.
    The review committee will examine your complaint and follow-up within 60 working days after receipt.

Assistance and Support

Several resources can help you in your proceedings. Do not hesitate to consult and use them.

  • The users’ committee of the institution involved in your complaint
    All institutions are obliged to have a users’ committee. The role of this committee is to defend the rights and interests of the health and social services network's users. To find out the users’ committee’s telephone number, ask the institution’s service quality and complaints commissioner.
  • The service quality and complaints commissioner
    The commissioner to whom you address your complaint may help you.
  • The Centre d’assistance et d’accompagnement aux plaintes (CAAP or complaint assistance and support centre)
    This regional community organisation is mandated by the Minister of Health and Social Services to offer free and confidential services.

    CAAP contact info:
  • The Aide Abus Aînés (elder abuse) helpline
    This confidential and anonymous helpline was put in place by the Ministère de la Famille et des Aînés. If your complaint concerns the infringement of an elder’s rights, you can get help by calling toll-free at 1-888-489-ABUS (2287).
  • Any person you choose can accompany or assist you at all time in the complaint examination procedure

Service Quality and Complaints Commissioner for Each Public Institution

Région 01 – Bas-Saint-Laurent

  • CISSS du Bas-Saint-Laurent
    418 724-5231 poste 105

Région 02 – Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean

  • CIUSSS du Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean
    418 541-7026 ou 1 877-662-3963

Région 03 – Capitale-Nationale

Région 04 – Mauricie-et-Centre-du-Québec

  • CIUSSS de la Mauricie-et-du-Centre-du-Québec
    819 370-2200 poste 43133

Région 05 – Estrie

  • CIUSSS de l’Estrie – Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke
    ​1 866 917-7903

Région 06 – Montréal

  • CIUSSS de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal
    514 734-2618
  • CIUSSS du Centre-Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal
    514 340-8222 poste 5833
  • CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal
    514 593-3600
    commissaireauxplaintes@cjm-iu.qc.ca
  • CIUSSS du Nord-de-l’Île-de-Montréal
    514 338-2259
  • CIUSSS de l’Est-de-l’Île-de-Montréal
    514 252-3510
    06_hmr_commissaires@ssss.gouv.qc.ca
  • Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM)
    514 890-8000 poste 26047
  • Centre universitaire de santé McGill (CUSM)
    514 934-1934 poste 48306
    ombudsman@muhc.mcgill.ca
  • Centre hospitalier universitaire Sainte-Justine
    514 345-4749
  • Institut de Cardiologie de Montréal (ICM)
    514 376-3330 poste 3398
  • Institut Philippe-Pinel de Montréal
    514 648-8461 poste 174
  • Institut universitaire de santé mentale de Montréal
    514 251-4000 poste 2920

Région 07 – Outaouais

  • CISSS de l'Outaouais
    819 986-3359 poste 2240

Région 08 – Abitibi-Témiscamingue

  • CISSS de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue
    1 888-764-5531

Région 09 – Côte-Nord

  • CISSS de la Côte-Nord
    418 962-9761 poste 2910 ou 1 877-962-9761
  • CLSC Naskapi
    418 585-2897

Région 10 – Nord-du-Québec

  • Centre régional de la santé et des services sociaux de la Baie-James
    418 748-3575

Région 11 – Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine

  • CISSS de la Gaspésie
    418 368-3301 poste 3604
  • CISSS des Îles
    418 986-2121 poste 8501

Région 12 – Chaudière-Appalaches

  • CISSS de Chaudière-Appalaches
    1 877-986-3587

Région 13 – Laval

Région 14 – Lanaudière

Région 15 – Laurentides

Région 16 – Montérégie

Région 17 – Nunavik

  • Centre de santé Innulitsivik
    819 988-2957
  • Centre de santé Tulattavik de l’Ungava
    819 964-2905

Région 18 – Terres-Cries-de-la-Baie-James

  • Conseil Cri de la santé et des services sociaux
    514 973-1957

Last update: May 18, 2016 10:47 AM

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