Resolving Health Care Concerns and Complaints
Most patients have a positive experience with Saskatchewan's health care system. However, if you have questions or concerns about access to care, services, treatment, or how decisions were made, help is available to you.
1. Resolving a Health Care Concern
If you have a concern about health services you receive, try to resolve it as soon as possible by:
- Discussing your concern directly with the health care provider involved or their supervisor when possible.
If your concerns are not resolved:
- Call the Saskatchewan Health Authority Quality of Care Coordinator for the area where you live, or the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency.
- If you're unable to resolve your concerns with the Saskatchewan Health Authority or Cancer Agency, call a Provincial Quality of Care Coordinator (see bottom of page).
If you do not feel your complaint is handled fairly and other avenues of appeal are ineffective:
- Contact the Health Professional Association responsible for that profession. Health professional associations are legally required to receive and investigate complaints about the competency and conduct of their members.
- Contact the Office of the Provincial Ombudsman. Complaints about public services can be investigated by the Provincial Ombudsman.
For concerns about surgery
For questions regarding surgery scheduling and wait times, call the Surgical Care Coordinator in the community where you are waiting for surgery. They can:
- Access information to try to resolve concerns about your wait time;
- Act as a liaison with specialists;
- Tell you if a hospital booking date is set;
- Provide an approximate wait time; and
- Explain hospital procedures.
If you still have concerns about your wait for surgery:
- Talk to your surgeon or family doctor/nurse practitioner.
If concerns about scheduling for surgery have not been resolved:
- Call the local Saskatchewan Health Authority Quality of Care Coordinator for help.
For concerns about specialists or booking diagnostic tests and wait times
- Discuss your options with your family doctor/nurse practitioner (or the physician who referred you.
If concerns are not resolved:
- Talk to the local Saskatchewan Health Authority Quality of Care Coordinator.
For concerns about cancer care and wait times
If your cancer diagnosis is uncertain:
- Discuss your concerns with the physician who is looking after you (surgeon, oncologist or family doctor).
If you've been diagnosed with cancer and referred to the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency for treatment:
- Call the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency's Quality of Care Coordinator.
For concerns about personal care homes
- Report a problem with a personal care home by submitting a formal complaint form.
For questions or concerns about prescription drugs
For public health concerns
If you have a public health concern such as someone smoking where it is prohibited, or a concern about the safety of drinking water:
- Contact the local public health office in your area.
For concerns about hearing services
If you have a concern about hearing services received through the Hearing Aid Plan:
- Contact your local Quality of Care Coordinator.
If you have concerns about hearing services received through private hearing clinics:
- Contact the Ministry of Health Community Care Branch about hearing services received through private hearing clinic at 306-787-1957 or by email.
For concerns about health cards, birth and death certificates, and other vital statistics
For concerns about a Government of Saskatchewan health facility, program, or service
2. Client Concern Specialist, Client Representatives, and Patient Advocates
Client Concern Specialist, also called client representatives or patient advocates, investigate and try to resolve concerns about the quality of care provided and:
- Assist with resolving a concern;
- Ensure you are aware of your rights and options; and
- Use your feedback to recommend changes and improvements to enhance the quality of health services.
Contact the local Client Concern Specialist in your area:
Or the Client Concern Specialist for the organization you are dealing with:
|Athabasca Health Authority||306-439-2200|
|Saskatchewan Cancer Agency||1-866-577-6489|
|Ministry of Health||306-787-2718|
3. Patients' Rights
Your rights as a patient in the Saskatchewan health care system are protected by the following laws:
- The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code says that you may not be denied public services on the basis of age, sex, religion, marital or family status, nationality, physical or mental disability, race, or sexual orientation.
- The Health Information Protection Act safeguards the privacy of your health information and guides the ways in which health providers can share and use it while providing care.
- The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act defines the kind of records and written information that can be released by government agencies.
- The Health Care Directives and Substitute Health Care Decision Makers Act helps ensure that the written wishes of you or your proxy are respected, if you are unable to make a decision about medical treatment.
- The Canada Health Act helps ensure that all Canadians have access to hospital and physician services, regardless of their ability to pay for it.