More health complaints than mobile phone gripes
DISGRUNTLED patients are making 175 complaints a week about South Australia’s public health system – twice the rate they are complaining about their mobile phones.
SA Health data reveals that there were 9107 complaints in the 2016-17 financial year – a 34 per cent increase from the 6761 complaints five years earlier.
In comparison, 4056 South Australians complained to the national telecommunications watchdog about their mobile phones during the same period – about 78 a week.
Health patients’ biggest complaints were about treatment (2570), while other complaints were focused on consent, professional conduct and cost.
The figures come as The Advertiser yesterday revealed a seriously ill cancer patient is demanding compensation after a Royal Adelaide Hospital doctor misread test results and left his disease untreated for months.
The area to see the highest increase in complaints during the five-year period was issues about consent, which soared 86.4 per cent between 2012-13 and 2016-17, from 59 to 110.
Mr Wade said a rise from 240 complaints about privacy and discrimination in 2015-16 to 436 last financial year, made the case for a full review of patient record management.
“Only a complete audit of access to patient records will provide proper protection of patients personal information,” he said. “Rather than reacting to complaints, we need a Government which will be proactive in identifying and rectifying problems.”
Mr Malinauskas said the Labor Government established the independent Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner in 2005 to provide consumers with a confidential and free service to assist with complaints. “All major hospitals have a Consumer Advisory Service that liaises directly with patients to resolve complaints and provides feedback to SA Health,” he said.