Patients complain a lot

ALMOST one in eight healthcare complaints comes from the Central Queensland area, according to figures from Queensland’s independent health watchdog.

The figures were released in the Health Quality and Complaints Commission (HQCC) Annual Report, along with complaint trends in all Queensland regions.

HQCC chief executive Cheryl Herbert said the most common causes of Central Queensland residents’ complaints were in relation to inadequate treatment, diagnosis and communication.

“Patients complain when they are dissatisfied with their treatment, suffer an unexpected outcome or feel their healthcare provider’s communication could have been better,” she said.

“But encouragingly, 63 per cent of complaints were resolved directly between the client and the provider, or with only minimal assistance from us (HQCC).

“This demonstrates that both patients and providers are working together to improve healthcare across the state.”

President of the Rural Doctors Association of Queensland (RDAQ), Daniel Halliday, told The Observer the report highlighted the need for more general practitioners as well as public health cover to cover the lack of professional support for patients.

“It certainly shows that we have ongoing issues in Central Queensland,” Mr Halliday said.

“The RDAQ is aware of interaction between the public and private sector in consultation with our organisation, which will hopefully provide some improvement in the medium and long term.

“However, it is obvious there is still a long way to go.

“Certainly you would like to see a higher number of resolutions with this report and we need to be looking at the processes and mechanisms in place to see if they can be improved to facilitate a higher resolution rate.”

The report also highlighted 4481 complaints and enquiries received, a 38 per cent increase in investigation recommendations for improvement, and 102 conciliations were conducted.

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