There are many organisations that deal with patients’ concerns raise and the Board is one amongst them with certain specific powers.
If you want an apology, an explanation or a review of your treatment, the Board is not the appropriate organisation. You should contact the organisation where you received the care, such as the GHA or a Private clinic. The GHA and private clinics have their own complaints procedures. Most complaints are in fact settled quickly in this way.
You should contact the Board if you have a more serious complaint which (in your opinion) affects whether the health professional should be allowed to carry on practising his or her profession.
Some examples of the types of cases in which the Board will act are:
- serious or repeated mistakes in carrying out medical procedures or in diagnosis
- prescribing drugs in a dangerous way
- failure to examine a patient properly or to respond reasonably to a patient’s needs
- fraud or dishonesty
- serious breaches of a patient’s confidentiality
- criminal offences.
What the Board cannot do:
- deal with complaints about nurses, managers or anyone who is not of a profession regulated by the Board
- make a health professional apologise to you.
- give you explanations or reports
- get you the treatment that you want
- help you with a claim for compensation
- fine a health professional
If you decide to make a complaint to the Board, you will need to put it in writing, addressed to the Chairman, Medical Registration Board and making sure that you have supplied all the following information:
- the health professional’s name, profession and work address
- explanation of your concerns – with dates
- copies of any relevant documents such as medical reports
- names and addresses of persons who can support the facts around your concerns.
Important: Please note that the Board cannot take up your complaint if you want to remain anonymous or do not want the health professional to be contacted.
Reporting Unlawful Practice
If you know or believe that a person is:
- unlawfully practising as a doctor, dentist, pharmacist or allied health practitioner; or
- claiming to be specialist when he/she is not a registered specialist (you can ask to see his/her Certificate issued by the Board),
then you should report the person to the Board.
Please note that if you wish to remain anonymous, the Board will still investigate your allegation, but its power to take action may be reduced.