Our Service Charter - What we can and cannot do

The Health Complaints Commissioner (HCC) continues to work with the Victorian public to promote safe and ethical health care.

Our Service Charter explains what we can do, what we cannot do, how we operate and how you can expect us to treat you. It also explains what we need from you when you are involved with our service. The Service Charter is our commitment to you.

The HCC has clear guidelines that allow the public and health service providers to understand what we can and cannot do.

We can:

  • help resolve complaints about health services and the handling of health information,
  • investigate health service providers who pose a serious risk to the health, safety or welfare of the public,
  • monitor and review trends in complaints data and use this analysis to inform quality, improvement possibilities within health services and the health system,
  • provide a free, independent, and accessible alternative to legal proceedings,
  • educate consumers and health service providers about healthcare rights and responsibilities.

We are committed to helping Victorians with safe and ethical health care provision but there are some things we cannot do:

We cannot:

  • force health service providers to take part in the complaint resolution process,
  • always get agreement on the outcome a complainant wants,
  • discipline practitioners registered by a National Board with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra),
  • act as an advocate, or take sides for one party or another,
  • provide legal advice or operate outside the legislation that governs us.

In all circumstances where you are involved with our service, we will do the following:

  • ensure our service is easily accessible,
  • explain our role and what we can and cannot do,
  • guide the public to organisations that may be able to help, if we cannot,
  • acknowledge written complaints within three (3) working days,
  • explain how we will handle each complaint and what will help to resolve it,
  • work with complainants to identify key issues of concern,
  • treat everyone with fairness and respect,

To find the full Service Charter, see below: