The Private Healthcare Facilities Ordinance ("the Ordinance") established a two-tier complaints management system in handling complaints against licensed private healthcare facilities ("PHFs"). The Ordinance states that the licensee of a PHF must put in place a complaints handling procedure for receiving, managing and responding to complaints that are against the PHF. We recommend that the public may first provide feedback or make complaint to the licensed PHFs when they have any comments or dissatisfaction with the PHF. If the complainant is not satisfied with the handling and reply of the PHF concerned, the complainant may then make a further complaint to the Committee on Complaints against Private Healthcare Facilities ("the Complaints Committee").
The Complaints Committee, when handling a complaint against a licensed PHF, will examine if the said PHF has complied with the Ordinance or the relevant code of practice to consider whether the complaint is substantiated.
A preliminary processing panel ("PPP") is set up under the Complaints Committee. It will make preliminary assessment of the complaint and will submit a report to the Complaints Committee. After considering the PPP's report, the Complaints Committee will appoint a case panel ("CP") to handle the complaint and make recommendations if the Complaints Committee considers that further investigation of the complaint is required.
However, the Complaints Committee may refuse to appoint a CP to consider the complaint if
- the complaint is not related to compliance with the Ordinance or the related code(s) of practice;
- the complaint is made 2 years or later after the subject event happened;
- the complaint is made anonymously or the complainant cannot be identified or traced;
- the complaint relates to a commercial matter;
- the subject matter of the complaint has been referred to, or is being considered by, the coroner;
- the complainant has instituted legal proceedings for the same subject matter; or
- the Complaints Committee considers that the complaint is frivolous or groundless.
If a settlement is effected between the complainant and the facility before the case is concluded by the Complaints Committee, the complainant may in writing, notify the Complaints Committee of the settlement and withdraw the complaint.
An overview of the complaints handling procedures of the Complaints Committee is illustrated below: