Making a Complaint
Who can complain about a doctor?
Anyone can make a complaint to the Medical Council about a doctor. This includes members of the public, employers and other healthcare professionals. More information can be found in the information booklet below;
Making a complaint about a doctor: A Guide for Patients.pdf
How to make a complaint about a doctor
You can make a complaint by completing a copy of the Medical Council’s complaint form.
This form has been designed to assist you to make your complaint to the Medical Council about a doctor. Our complaint form can be downloaded and submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Only written complaints can be dealt with by the Medical Council. In circumstances where you cannot access the complaint form you should submit your complaint in writing by email to email@example.com or by post to:
A copy of your complaint will be provided to the doctor for his/her comments. There are a number of patient support groups who may be able to assist you with your complaint.
What can the Medical Council do?
The Medical Council is responsible for protecting the public by promoting and better ensuring high standards of professional conduct and professional education, training and competence among doctors.
The Medical Council can look into complaints about individual doctors. Anyone can make a complaint to the Medical Council about a doctor. This includes members of the public, employers and other healthcare staff. The Medical Council itself may also make a complaint about a doctor.
The Medical Council’s Preliminary Proceedings Committee is responsible for looking at complaints about doctors.
Where the Council considers that an immediate suspension is necessary to protect the public, it can apply to the High Court for an order to suspend a doctor’s registration, regardless of whether the doctor is the subject of a complaint.
What the Medical Council cannot do regarding your complaint
The Medical Council can only look into complaints about individual doctors. The Medical Council cannot:
- Look into complaints about anyone who is not a registered doctor (for example; nurses, pharmacists, dentists, opticians, social workers, hospitals, clinics or other healthcare organisations).
- Pay you compensation or help you make a claim for compensation.
- Give legal or professional advice or representation to you.
- Make a doctor apologise to you.
- Order a doctor to do something for you such as; provide the treatment that you want, write a prescription for you or give you access to your 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.
The legal framework for the Medical Council’s complaint procedures is set out in the Medical Practitioners Act 2007, which is linked below.
About the Complaints Process