For Public FAQs

If you have questions or need more information, speak with a HaDSCO staff member on (08) 6551 7620 or email mail@hadsco.gov.au.

Complaints can be made about:

  • Registered health practitioners such as doctors and nurses.
  • Unregistered health practitioners such as counsellors and dieticians.
  • Public and private hospitals.
  • Not-for-profit health centres.
  • Alternative health service providers such as massage therapists and naturopaths.
  • Disability services not covered by the NDIS.
  • Breaches of the Code of Conduct for certain health care workers.  

You can make a complaint when a service provider:

We cannot help you with complaints about:

  • The contents of a medical report.
  • Medicare or health insurance.
  • Workers’ compensation assessments.
  • Orders made by the Mental Health Tribunal.
  • Orders made by the Guardianship and Administration Board.
  • Health services received in another state or territory.
Complaints older than two years (unless a complaint could not be lodged within two years due to extenuating circumstances).

HaDSCO only accepts complaints about aged care services that are not commonwealth funded.

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission provides a free service for anyone to raise a concern or make a complaint about the quality of care or services provided to people receiving Australian Government funded aged care.

HaDSCO only accepts complaints about disability services not covered by the NDIS. 

The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission accepts complaints from anyone about NDIS providers, services or supports that were not provided in a safe and respectful way or to an appropriate standard.

Yes. There is no age restriction to lodge a complaint with HaDSCO. For tips and advice about making a complaint as a young person, download our information sheet

My Health in My Hands

My Health in my Hands is an animation video produced by the WA Department of Health’s Child and Youth Health Network to support young people as they become more independent with their health care.

There are various consumer advocacy organisations that can help you to contact HaDSCO and/or to lodge a formal complaint with us.

  • Health Consumers’ Council of WA - Health Consumers’ Council of WA provide an individual advocacy service to any person experiencing an issue with the WA Health system.
  • Carers WA - Carers WA is the peak body that represents the needs and interests of carers in Western Australia. They support the empowerment and wellbeing of carers through programs, services, and advocacy.
  • People With Disability WA - PWdWA provides non-legal advocacy to people with disabilities. Advocacy is the process of standing alongside individuals to ensure that people are able to speak out, to express their views and uphold their rights.
  • Mental Health Advocacy Service - The Mental Health Advocacy Service WA is independent from hospitals and mental health services and offers a free service supporting people who are receiving or referred for involuntary mental health treatment. Voluntary mental health patients aged under 18 years can also request help from a specialist Youth advocate.

A complaint can be made by:

  • The person who received the service.
  • A family member, guardian or advocate.
  • A representative of the person who died.
  • A service provider on behalf of the person who received the service from another provider.
  • A carer on behalf of the person they provide care for, and/or on their own behalf about a failure to comply with the four principles of the Western Australian Carers Charter.

An exception to this list is that anyone can make a complaint about an alleged breach of the Code of Conduct for certain health care workers (e.g., a colleague).

If you are making a complaint on behalf of someone else, ensure you have their permission. If you are not a family member of the consumer, you will need to sign the declaration on our complaint form stating that you have no financial interest in the outcome of the complaint and are acting without payment.

You can receive:

  • Access to a service.
  • A refund or waiver of fees.
  • An apology or explanation.
  • Further investigation into what happened.
  • Access to health records.
  • Service improvement to prevent problems from reoccurring (e.g., staff training, changes to processes and procedures, or introduction of new policies).

HaDSCO’s services are free and available to everyone in Western Australia and the Indian Ocean Territories. 

Some complaints can be resolved quickly, while others can take several months. We will keep you informed of the complaint’s progress and its expected resolution time.

You can read more about the complaint resolution process here.

We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint and assess your case.

If your complaint falls under HaDSCO’s authority, we will contact you to discuss your options. Depending on its complexity, the complaint can progress to one of the following resolution pathways:

  • Negotiated settlement which involves communicating via phone or email.
  • Conciliation which involves face-to-face, teleconference or videoconference meetings.
  • Investigations.

You can read more about the complaint resolution process here. 

If your complaint does not fall under HaDSCO’s authority, we will contact you to explain why and, where possible, refer you to an alternative organisation.

If your complaint is about a registered health practitioner, HaDSCO will consult with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulatory Agency (Ahpra) to determine the most suitable agency to manage it. Ahpra may request that we formally refer your complaint to them. 

Yes. You will need to notify us via email or letter.

However, if your complaint is about an alleged breach of the Code of Conduct for certain health care workers and there is potential risk to public health and safety, we can continue to investigate the matter.

Yes, provided you were within Western Australia or the Indian Ocean Territories at the time of receiving the service.

Let us know by using our Feedback Form. You can also let us know your concerns by phone, email, or post.

You can request an internal review of the management of your complaint if there is a specific dispute about the processes applied, or decision/s made.

The internal review is conducted by a Senior Officer who was not involved in the decision-making process for the original complaint outcome. A request for an internal review must be submitted in writing within six months of the date of the original decision.

If your concerns remain unresolved following HaDSCO’s internal review process, you can contact the Ombudsman Western Australia to request an external review.
Last Updated: 25/06/2024