British Columbia launches on-line complaint site
VANCOUVER – British Columbia has
announced a new toll-free phone number and website as part of a new
process that better enables patients to register complaints about the
quality of their healthcare experience in the province.
“We all want a quality health system – a system that provides us with
appropriate, consistent and timely care; a system that is transparent
and accountable; and a system that treats every patient with respect and
dignity,” said Health Minister George Abbott. “And today we are
delivering on our Throne Speech commitment for a new process that
provides patients with the opportunity to better resolve concerns and
further improve the quality of our world-class healthcare system.”
In support of the new patient care review process, the Minister also
announced the appointment of members to six new Patient Care Quality
Review Boards, one for each health authority. The role of the review
boards is to help seek solutions to individual concerns that have not
been satisfactorily resolved by the health authority’s own patient
quality care office. Members of the review boards are drawn from the
local community, and are independent of the health authorities.
As of October, each of B.C.’s six health authorities have a centralized
Patient Care Quality Office. Patients, or family members of patients,
who have concerns about their experience are encouraged first to resolve
the issue with the service provider, and if still unsatisfied, to
contact the local patient care quality office.
The offices register all complaints and track them through the health
authority review process to ensure a timely response. If patients feel
their concern is still not resolved by the patient care quality office,
they can take their concerns to the patient care quality review board
for consideration of an independent review.
“The patient care quality review boards will not only directly respond
to patients who have concerns, but also share the lessons learned with
the health authorities and government so we can continue improving our
healthcare system,” said Dr. Jack Chritchley, chair of the Patient Care
Quality Review Boards for Vancouver Coastal, Fraser and Provincial
Health Services. “I am pleased to play a role in this new process and
believe that the boards will support the public’s confidence and further
strengthen the quality of our healthcare system.”
The review boards have been established as a result of the Patient Care
Quality Review Board Act, which was introduced to create a robust
complaints process and provide a mechanism to continuously improve
B.C.’s healthcare system. The act requires:
• Each health authority to establish a central patient-care quality
office, which can receive concerns from patients or their loved ones in
person, by telephone, fax or email.
• Each health authority to follow a standardized process in receiving,
tracking and responding to care quality concerns.
• Each health authority to meet timelines in responding to public
complaints within 30 business days.
• Review boards to make recommendations to the health authorities and
the minister with the goal of continuously improving the health care
• Review boards to report annually to the minister on the number and
type of complaints received, the timeliness of service, the
recommendations made, and other related information.
For more information on B.C.’s review boards please visit the website at