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Tasmanian health complaints up 25 per cent

25 November 2011 - 4:13pm

Health complaints in Tasmania increased by 25 per cent over the last financial year according to a new report.

In his annual report tabled in parliament earlier this week (November 23), the state's health complaints commissioner Simon Allston highlighted that his office had received more than 400 written and verbal enquiries in the 2010-11 financial year.

While there were increases across all the identified complaint issues except two - fees and costs as well as professional conduct - areas such as access, facility environment, medical records and treatment reported an increase of almost double.

Public hospitals emerged as the most complained about organisations, reporting an increase in enquiries of more than 20 per cent.

According to the report, hospitals made available through private health insurance saw reported complaints drop by almost 10 per cent.

Two major investigations were completed by the Office of Health Complaints, including one case in which a mental health patient complained that she had been subjected to chemical restraint whilst in one of the state's public hospitals.

The majority of complaints lodged were assessed in between 45 and 90 days, however the number of ­cases going to conciliation increased by 82 per cent.