It’s vital to show complaints panel a path to correct decision

Health professionals subjected to a College investigation can go a long way towards avoiding serious consequences for minor complaints if they answer the complaint appropriately, Lonny Rosen tells

“Recognize that responding to complaints is an obligation of all professionals, and is, unfortunately, a cost of doing business,” says Rosen.

Doctors, dentists and other health professionals, like any other business person, face the prospect of disagreements with clients (patients) over fees or work undertaken, Rosen says.

But health professionals differ from most in that, in addition to being sued, they can face regulatory proceedings that could result in the suspension or revocation of their licence, he adds.

And unlike a lawsuit, it costs nothing for a person to submit a complaint to a College, Rosen says.

Typically, a complaint will result in a panel of a College’s Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC) investigating the allegations and deciding what, if any, action to take, he says.

Complainants may allege serious misconduct such as conduct that would constitute a breach of trust, a failure to maintain the standard of practice of the profession, or conduct that would reasonably be regarded by members as “disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional.”

“While some complaints, of course, have merit, many times they can boil down to miscommunication, a misapprehension of the facts, or allegations that are simply unfounded,” Rosen says.

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