Complaints against doctors, social workers and other health care professionals

 

Registering a complaint

The Family Justice Review Committee maintains a file on complaints about health care professionals in the community who have been found to have acted against the best interests of children and their families.  Currently this service is only available in the Province of Ontario, but will be expanded to other provinces as resources become available. This service is designed to help ensure that delivery of health care services relating to child welfare and families of divorce are second to none in the world.  Although the majority of health care professionals do their jobs competently and fairly, there are a number who unfortunately fail to act with diligence and in the process tarnish the reputations of those many other professionals who work hard to help families prosper.

Those who feel that a particular health care professional has acted against the best interest of children or other family members may submit a complaint about the professional to the Family Justice Review Committee.  The complaint will not be accepted for review unless a complaint has also been made to any applicable association of which the professional is a member.  Members of the Family Review Committee will help you to write your letter of complaint if necessary.

After a complaint has been received by the committee, it will be reviewed and if it meets the criteria of the committee for acceptance, an investigation will be commenced.  The professional involved will be contacted in reference to the complaint and asked to provide information relative to the complaint from the professional's perspective.  

Some of the complaints that the committee would consider valid:

  • Reports or letters written without both sides having been given the opportunity to present facts to the professional.

  • Acting in any way on behalf of a party that the committee would consider not to be in the best interests of any children involved in a disputed matter.

  • Attempting to impede the release of information considered important in assessing the best interest of a child.

  • Unwarranted use use taxpayer-funded organizations such as unwarranted billings for services.

When a complaint is made to the committee, a two member team will attempt to resolve the complaint and make recommendations based on the evidence and the circumstances.  The purpose of the investigation will be to correct any injustice that may have occurred, and where it has been found that a health care professional has acted inappropriately, then to help ensure that the health care professional involved takes corrective measures to ensure that this type of problem does not occur again.

If the complaints sub committee is unable to resolve the problem to the satisfaction of both the health care professional and the person who issued the complaint, then the matter will be heard before the full Justice Review Committee for a formal review. The complaint may be heard by up to 12 members of the committee in an open meeting.

A full report of how the subcommittee dealt with the complaint will be submitted to the committee for further discussion and a vote by members. The person making the complaint will be required to be present to answer any questions put forth by members of the committee concerning the complaint.  The health care professional will also be invited to attend to ask questions and to give information in his or her behalf.

To submit a complaint contact the Family Justice Review Committee by email or phone us at (416) 410-4115