Service satisfaction and complaints
Québec's Health and Social Services Act states that all users who are dissatisfied with the health or social services they have received, or should have received, are entitled to file a complaint.
However, users are responsible for using the services wisely and participating in their own care. A complaint can be filed by a representative of the user or by the heirs or legal representatives of a deceased user.
Your rights as a user of health and social services are the following:
- The right to information:
- on the services that are available and how to obtain them;
- on any accident occurring during the provision of services that may have an impact on the user’s state of health;
- so that the user can give free and informed consent to care.
- The right to have rapid access to care:
- by receiving required emergency care;
- by receiving scientifically, humanly and socially adequate health and social services in an ongoing and personalized manner;
- by receiving services in English;
- by choosing one's healthcare institution and healthcare professional, within the limits of the available resources and the freedom of a professional to accept or refuse to treat a patient;
- by participating in any decision affecting one's state of health or welfare.
- The right to decide:
- to be accompanied and assisted by the person of one's choice when one wishes to obtain information or take steps in relation to any service provided;
- to leave an institution immediately after being discharged or to remain there if there is no room in another institution;
- to be represented for the purpose of exercising a right;
- to have access to one's file and be assured of the file's confidentiality;
- to take recourse, file a complaint, to be informed of the complaint review procedure and to be accompanied and assisted to that end.
The right to health is not as much the right of citizens to be in good health as it is their right to benefit from facilities, programs and other means that enable them to be as healthy as possible.
For more information, see Filing a Complaint against a Health Care Institution on the Éducaloi website.
How to express your satisfaction or file a complaint
How to express your satisfaction
If you would like to express your satisfaction with services that you have received from the Montréal health and social service network, you can communicate with the local service quality and complaints commissioner of the institution where you received services.
How to file a complaint
Every effort is made to ensure the quality of the services offered by your institution. However, it is possible that you may not be satisfied with the services you have received. If so, you can file a verbal or written complaint. If necessary, you can get help from the Centre d'aide et d'accompagnement aux plaintes (CAAP) (website in french only) for the Island of Montréal. The table of deadlines and means of recourse (in french only) may also be useful.
You will then have to send your complaint to the local or regional complaints commissioner of the institution in question. Once the commissioner has received your complaint, you will be advised and a first evaluation of the complaint will be done. Your complaint may be rejected if it is deemed inadmissible (i.e., if it is not related to one of the users' rights or to the quality of services, is groundless, or lies outside of the commissioner's jurisdiction).
On the other hand, if the complaint is deemed admissible, the commissioner will investigate the case, question the user and any other persons implicated, and check the facts. The commissioner must inform the user (or the user's representative) of his or her conclusions within 45 days. The conclusions are sometimes accompanied by recommendations to the Board of Directors, management and or the person responsible for the service in question at the appropriate level (institutions, community organizations, regional health and social services agency, etc.).
The commissioner must also inform users who have filed complaints that that they can appeal to the Health and Social Services Ombudsman if they are not satisfied with the commissioner's decision.
If you are dissatisfied with services you have received from professionals, you can also contact their respective professional orders:
- Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec
- Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers auxiliaires du Québec (website in french only)
- Collège des médecins du Québec
- Ordre des psychologues du Québec
- Ordre des travailleurs sociaux du Québec (website in french only)
You will find a complete list of professional orders and an explanation of the possible means of recourse on the website of the Office des professions du Québec .
Contact information for commissioners
A service quality and complaints commissioner is appointed by the Board of Directors of every health and social services institution in the region as well as at Urgences-santé and the Agence de la santé et des services sociaux. The commissioners examine the complaints of health and social services users. The complaints are indicators that serve to review practices and policies in an effort to improve the quality of services provided to Montrealers.
Local service quality and complaints commissioner
To find out how to communicate with an institution's commissioner, contact the institution directly. To facilitate your search, see the list of local service quality and complaints commissioners .
Regional service quality and complaints commissioners
To support the regional Commissioner in the discharge of his or her duties, a delegated advisor, technician and secretary are assigned to look into the cases of dissatisfied users and the related files. They are the people who will respond to your requests for information about your rights and the enforcement of the legal provisions governing the review of complaints. Their duties also include assisting and accompanying you throughout your complaint process. If you need their help, they will provide advice or put you in contact with the person who is in the best position to respond to your request.
Contact information for the Office of the Regional Commissioner:
3725, rue Saint-Denis
Montréal (Québec) H2X 3L9
Telephone: 514 286-6542
Fax: 514 286-5777
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to know more, the complaint examination procedure of Montréal's Agence de la santé et des services sociaux (R2007-02) (52 KB) is available in French in PDF format. You can also request a copy from the Office of the Regional Commissioner.
Regional commissioner of Urgences-santé
Contact information for customer service at Urgences-santé :
3232, rue Bélanger
Montréal (Québec) H1Y 3H5
If you are not satisfied with the decision of the local or regional complaints commissioner or do not receive a response from the Commissioner within 45 days, you can turn to the Health and Social Services Ombudsman (Protecteur du citoyen), who will do a preliminary review of the complaint to see if it falls within the Ombudsman's jurisdiction. If need be, you will be directed to the appropriate resource.
The Ombudsman can reject any complaint deemed trivial (not serious), malicious, filed after a delay of two years or too late for any action on the Ombudsman's part to be useful. The Ombudsman will notify you and the institution of his or her conclusions. The institution will then have 30 days to inform the Ombudsman and the complaining party of the solutions it has adopted.
Contact information for the Ombudsman :
525, boulevard René-Lévesque Est
Québec (Québec) G1R 5Y4
Toll-free: 1 800 463-5070
Fax: 1 866 902-7130
E-mail : email@example.com
Other resources that can help you file a complaint
The mission of the Users' Committee of your institution is to foster improvement of the quality of services and the satisfaction of the clientele. It is responsible for informing you of your rights and your obligations with respect to the institution. Among other things, you can ask the Committee to assist you in any action you undertake, including filing a complaint. Speak to your institution directly to find out how to contact its Users’ Committee.
Centre d'assistance et d'accompagnement aux plaintes-Île de Montréal (CAAP- Île de Montréal)
The CAAP-Île de Montréal is the regional community organization authorized by the Minister of Health and Social Services to assist you if you want to file a complaint with:
- one of institutions of the health and social services network;
- the Regional Service Quality and Complaints Commissioner (website in french only) of Montréal's Agence de la santé et des services sociaux;
- the Ombudsman (if you are not satisfied with the conclusions of the commissioner).
The role of the Island of Montréal CAAP is not to process the complaints themselves, but rather to assist you in your complaint process. Its services are free and confidential.
7333, rue Saint-Denis
Montréal (Québec) H2R 2E5
Telephone: 514 861-5998 et 1-877-767-2227
Fax: 514 861-5999
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Collectif Action Autonomie
The Collectif Action Autonomie is a non-profit community organization whose counsellors will help you with the formalities involved in defending your rights.
3958, rue Dandurand, 3e étage
Montréal (Québec) H1X 1P7
Telephone: 514 525-5060
Fax: 514 525-5580
E-mail : email@example.com
For more information
- Read the ''Commissaire régional aux plaintes et à la qualité des services '' page on the Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de Montréal website.
- Consult the Act Respecting Health Services and Social Services