Making a complaint about another doctor
If you believe that another doctor’s behaviour, conduct or practice poses a risk to patients or others you should contact us as soon as possible.
Below are examples of situations which commonly prompt complaint; If a doctor:
- misused alcohol or drugs;
- failed to examine patients adequately or at all;
- made a serious or repeated mistakes in the diagnosis or treatment of a patient;
- prescribed medication (eg: benzodiazepines or opiates) excessively;
- behaved dishonestly;
- made sexual advances towards patients or carried out inappropriate examinations.
- clinical incompetence
Guidance in relation to professional conduct and ethics for doctors can be found in the Guide to Professional Conduct and Ethics for Registered Medical Practitioners.
Grounds for complaint
All complaints received by the Medical Council are considered by the Preliminary Proceedings Committee (PPC). However, complaints can only warrant action by the Medical Council on the following grounds;
Poor professional performance
- A relevant medical disability
- A failure to comply with one or more condition(s) attached to a doctor's registration
- A failure to comply with an undertaking given to the Medical Council or to take any action specified in a consent given in the context of a previous inquiry
- Contravention (infringement) of the Medical Practitioners Act 2007
- A conviction in the State for an offence triable on indictment or if convicted outside the State, for an offence that would be triable on indictment in the Irish courts.
Please note the important notice on complaints amounting to poor professional performance if considering making a complaint to the Medical Council.
If you have a complaint regarding a doctor that falls outside the grounds for complaint listed above, we would suggest proactive measures are taken to resolve the complaint at a local level.
If you are unsure as to who your complaint should be submitted to,
provides information on the appropriate bodies in which you can make a complaint to.
What the Medical Council cannot do regarding complaints
The Medical Council can take action against a doctor's registration. Our role is determined by law and before submitting a complaint, please be aware of what the Council cannot do:
- Pay you compensation or help you make a claim for compensation
- Consider any aspects in relation to fees or waiting times
- Make a doctor apologise to you
- Look into complaints about anyone who is not a registered doctor (for example; nurses pharmacists, dentists, opticians, social workers, administrative staff/secretaries, clinics or other healthcare organisations. For more information on bodies you can make health care complaints too, visit healthcomplaints.ie
- Order a doctor to do something for you such as; provide the treatment that you want, write a prescription for you, give you access to your records or change medical records.
- Give you a detailed explanation of what happened to you. This can only come from the doctor or healthcare provider
- Give or arrange medical treatment or counselling for you
- Give legal advice or representation to you
If you are unsure as to who your complaint should be submitted to, healthcomplaints.ie provides information on the appropriate bodies in which you can make a complaint to.
How to make a complaint
You can make a complaint by completing the complaint form. The form should be submitted in writing and emailed or sent by post.
We ask that you provide as much detail, information and documentation as possible within your complaint form.