Health complaints up in the ACT

A dispensing error is among several case studies highlighted in the ACT Human Rights Commission’s annual report, which says complaints are up almost 10%

In the case study, the Commission outlines how a woman lodged a complaint about a pharmacy after they incorrectly dispensed medication to her that belonged to another consumer.

“The Commission sought a statement from the pharmacist on duty and notified AHPRA,” the report says.

“The parties attended a conciliation conference where they were able to reach agreement on a number of outcomes which resolved the complaint.

“The outcomes included an apology, changes in dispensing practice and financial compensation.

“The Board and the Commission jointly considered the matter and decided to take regulatory action against the pharmacist.”

As well as being up 10% on last year, complaints are now up 35% compared to 2016-7, the report states.

Complaints about health services alone in the ACT rose by almost 8% last year.

In another case study, a son lodged a complaint about several aspects of his mother’s treatment in an aged care facility, and the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC).

The ACQSC placed sanctions on the facility, and the facility modified or developed new systems to improve residents’ access to external health care providers.

In another case, a woman complained that the treatment she received after surgery for a broken ankle led to adverse health outcomes; she had eventually sought and received follow-up surgery from a private provider. The hospital agreed to provide an apology, reimbursement of costs and a review of the systems in place for outpatient care.

ACT Human Rights Commission President Dr Helen Watchirs said: “We are assisting more Canberrans.

“The Commission has continued to expand its frontline services to complainants, victims of crime and people experiencing vulnerability.”

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