Recent news

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...
16 Nov 2020
Since the introduction of the Complaint Handling Standards in June 2020, there has been widespread interest in how the standards work and their application. The complaint handling standards replace the interim standards in Schedule 1 of the Health Complaints Act 2016 and apply to all health service providers in Victoria, including registered practitioners and general health service providers. “The standards were developed in consultation with both the healthcare sector and the public and cover the key aspects of complaint handling,” Health Complaints Commissioner, Ms Karen Cusack said. “The...
12 Jun 2020
The health, safety and welfare of our staff and members of the public who use our services continues to be our primary focus. While there has been an easing of some restrictions by the State Government, my office will continue to operate via remote working arrangements for the foreseeable future. In March 2020, I made the decision to begin working remotely in response to the risk of spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). This meant closing our office at 570 Bourke Street and for staff to operate remotely, like many other businesses. Despite a significant change in our operational environment, we...
18 May 2020
Following an investigation by the Health Complaints Commissioner, a cosmetic service provider who treated clients in a ‘salon’ at the back of a Springvale Shopping Centre jewellery store, has been issued with a prohibition order permanently banning her from providing any general health services involving cosmetic procedures, including Botox and dermal fillers. Health Complaints Commissioner Karen Cusack said Lee Kim Tan, trading as Sonoun Kimlee Salon in Springvale, is permanently banned from providing general health services, including offering any cosmetic or surgical procedure that...
09 Apr 2020
The Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner (OVIC) and the Office of the Health Complaints Commissioner (HCC) acknowledge the unprecedented challenges that organisations are facing due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). There is a clear and urgent need to collect, use, and share information to manage the spread of COVID-19. As organisations are likely adapting the way they handle information to deal with the current situation, it is crucial for organisations to understand their privacy obligations. It is important to note that Victoria’s privacy legislation does not prevent...