How to Make a Complaint to the Office of the Health Ombudsmen

What is the OHO?

The Office of the Health Ombudsman (‘OHO’) is Queensland’s health service complaints agency. This system was set up to handle complaints in Queensland about health service providers. If you or a family member are unhappy with treatment or medical advice you have received by a health care provider, you are entitled to make a complaint.


Their main objectives are to:

  • protect the health and safety of the public
  • promote professional, safe and competent practice by health practitioners
  • promote high standards of health service delivery by organisations
  • maintain public confidence in the provision of health services in Queensland
  • manage complaints relating to health services

Overall, the OHO’s role is to protect all Queenslanders in the provision of health services.

Making a complaint 

Who can make a complaint?

  • a patient who received a health service
  • a parent or guardian of a patient
  • a relative, friend or representative chosen by the patient
  • a health service provider
  • any other concerned person.      

Who can I complain about?

You can make a formal complaint about any health service, health service provider or practitioner, anywhere in Queensland. This includes registered and unregistered health practitioners.

This not only includes doctors, but also nurses, optometrists, dentists, chiropractors, occupational therapists, osteopaths, physiotherapists, nutritionists, massage therapists, naturopaths, homoeopaths, dieticians, speech pathologists and social workers.

You can also make a complaint against a public or private health care facility, such as a hospital, private clinic, ambulance service, mental health service and community health services.  

What can I complain about?

You can complain about any aspect of healthcare services that you received. This includes the following:

  • treatment you have received
  • the quality of care provided to you
  • your diagnosis
  • medication you have been prescribed
  • referrals from your practitioner to others
  • the surgical procedure you underwent
  • your post-operative care
  • your practitioner’s behaviour

Is it free to make a complaint?


Should I make a complaint?

Before making a formal complaint, it is recommended that you talk to your health care provider.

Being up front about your concerns and asking questions is often the most effective way to solve your complaint. This can also lead to a resolution much quicker.  You can do this in person or you could write a letter to your health service provider.

However, sometimes medical treatment may not be acceptable. In these cases, if you are not happy with the response you receive from your treating practitioner or this conversation is too upsetting, you can proceed with making a formal complaint to the Health Ombudsman.

How do I lodge my complaint?

You can complete an online health service complaint form and submit this online. Alternatively, you can print the complaint form and return as follows:

  • Mail:               PO Box 13281, George Street Brisbane QLD 4003
  • Email:             [email protected]

Alternatively, you can phone 133 646 and complain over the telephone or attend the Brisbane office.

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