HCCC denies doctors the ‘option to state their case’

HCCC commissioner Kieran Pehm also revealed, in the commission’s annual report, that the agency has stopped contacting each complainant to discuss their grievance, and its “service to complainants and providers has suffered” as complaints against the state’s medical professionals rose 16.8% in 2011.

The spike came as permanent staff at the HCCC, the only state-based health watchdog since all others merged into AHPRA, continued to decline from 85 in 2007–08 to 77 now.

“In response to the increasing number of complaints, the commission has had to alter its practices, which has resulted in an inevitable reduction in the level of customer service,” Mr Pehm wrote.

“As a result of the increased demand on its resources, the commission had to limit the action it takes on complaints. This means that in more cases, it no longer clarifies the issues with the complainant, does not seek a response from the provider