Recent news

18 Jan 2021
The Government’s Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Bill 2020, currently before the Legislative Council, has been welcomed by Victorian Health Complaints Commissioner (HCC) Karen Cusack. The Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Bill 2020, passed by the Legislative Assembly in early December 2020, will prohibit conversion therapy from being offered or provided to any person.
18 Jan 2021
Our new online education and training platform is now live. The new training platform will enable registered practitioners and general health service providers to complete the Health Records Act and Code of Conduct self-paced, e-learning modules. If you have previously undertaken online training on the old platform, you will need to create a new username and password. To do so, please visit: hcc-elearning.com.au/ If you are an administrator for multiple accounts for your organisation and would like to create a bulk account, please email: [email protected] More details about how to...
07 Jan 2021
Following complaints received, the Victorian Health Complaints Commissioner Karen Cusack has commenced an investigation and imposed an Interim Prohibition Order (IPO) on Wodonga-based psychotherapist/counsellor Brian Hickman. Mr Hickman, like all general health service providers, is subject to the Code of Conduct under the Health Complaints Act 2016. “Complaints received by my office allege conduct by Mr Hickman that may be in contravention of the code of conduct for general health service providers,” Commissioner Cusack said. “I do not make interim prohibition orders lightly, but where...
Final training in Complaint Handling Standards for 2020
21 Dec 2020
Since the Complaint Handling Standards were introduced in June 2020, there has been significant interest in how the standards work. On December 17, Health Complaints Commissioner Karen Cusack completed the final information session for 2020. The training helps ensure that all Victorian health services are provided with direction and information to better understand and implement the Complaint Handling Standards. The Standards comprise 11 separate obligations and set the minimum legal criteria for all health service providers in Victoria to meet when handling complaints about health services...
18 Dec 2020
Melbourne dental clinic No Brace Centre closed on Friday 30 August 2019 without prior notice. Clients of the clinic were unable to directly resolve enquiries or complaints about outstanding treatment or prepaid fees, or obtain access to their health records. The office of the Health Complaints Commissioner (HCC) is an independent and impartial statutory body that resolves complaints about the provision of health services and the handling of health information in Victoria. The HCC received more than 200 enquiries and complaints from clients of the No Brace Centre following its closure. On 4...
HCC Annual Report 2019-20
14 Dec 2020
The Victorian Health Complaints Commissioner, Ms Karen Cusack, has released the Health Complaints Commissioner’s 2019-2020 Annual Report detailing the performance of her office during the 2019-2020 financial year, in line with its vision and values. The Health Complaints Commissioner is an independent, statutory officer who derives powers from the Health Complaints Act 2016 (HCA) and is responsible for regulating health services in Victoria. While the final half of the financial year was impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic, the Commissioner’s commitment to supporting the...
Complaint case study: High cost for access to health records
10 Dec 2020
Aminah contacted the Health Complaints Commissioner (HCC) about a $220 charge imposed by a medical practitioner for providing her with access to her health records. Aminah did not know why such a high fee was imposed and was concerned that, even if she paid the fee, she might not gain access to her records. What we did: We contacted the practitioner to ask about the $220 charge. The practitioner said that he was charging $220 for medicolegal documents because the request had come from Aminah’s solicitor rather than from the patient herself. We reminded the practitioner of his obligations...
03 Dec 2020
On 22 November, in line with the Chief Health Officer’s directions, Victoria entered the Last Step in the coronavirus map to reopening. While many of the restrictions have been lifted, some remain, and the public can obtain general information via the following: If you own or manage a retail business, visit  Retail trade (goods)  and  Retail trade (services)  for sector guidance  Find information about the enforcement of coronavirus (COVID-19) directions in Victoria, the fines for non-compliance and how to report a breach For advice, health professionals can call the dedicated 24-hour hotline...
26 Nov 2020
The Health Complaints Commissioner has commenced an investigation into a general health service provider operating in Albert Park, Melbourne. The provider, Natalie Kringoudis, like all general health service providers, is subject to the Code of Conduct under the Health Complaints Act 2016. To ensure the public’s safety while the investigation is conducted, Health Complaints Commissioner Karen Cusack has issued an Interim Prohibition Order (IPO) banning Ms Kringoudis from advertising, offering or providing any general health service, paid or otherwise, in a clinical or non-clinical capacity...
20 Nov 2020
Ms Karen Cusack, the Victorian Health Complaints Commissioner supports the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency’s (AHPRA) ‘be safe first’ campaign in relation to the risks associated with cosmetic procedures. Cosmetic treatment is a very real concern for the Health Complaints Commissioner, with complaints about unregistered cosmetic treatment providers making up a large number of complaints to the office of the Health Complaints Commissioner. Any campaign that helps consumers to make informed decisions before treatment is a great initiative. The Health Complaints Commissioner...