Quality of Care Advisory Committee

The Quality of Care Advisory Committee consists of three physicians and three non-medical persons appointed by the Council of the College. The primary role of the Committee is to resolve complaints regarding the conduct of physicians.

Complaints are received by the Registrar. By letter, personal or telephone interview, complainants are informed of the role of the College in protecting the public interest, including the workings of the Quality of Care Advisory Committee.

The complainant is asked to submit his/her complaint in writing, providing their name, address and telephone number, the date of the physician's service prompting the complaint, the nature of the complaint and the name of any other physicians seen.

Complaints are often resolved by the Executive staff of the College.

Unresolved complaints are forwarded to the Quality of Care Advisory Committee which meets approximately ten times per year. The most common issues dealt with are missed diagnosis, substandard care, rudeness and lack of communication. Most complaints are dealt with by a review of the written documentation obtained. This may include the original letter of complaint, the physician's letter of explanation, hospital charts, the physician's office chart on the patient and other pertinent information. Where appropriate, the Committee will seek opinions from specialists. When necessary, the Committee will interview the complainant and/or the physician.

Once information has been reviewed, a letter of opinion is provided to the complainant and the physician against whom the complaint was made. It is the expectation of the College that these letters will provide direction to physicians for their future conduct and will inform the patient about the propriety of the physician's treatment. These are letters of opinion only and do not form a disciplinary record.

The Quality of Care Advisory Committee does not deal with complaints between physicians or complaints of a sexual nature. On occasion, the Committee may have sufficient concerns to refer a matter to the Council of the College for further action. Council has the authority to interview the physician and may decide that further investigation, discipline or competency proceedings are appropriate.

The College has no authority to order compensation for a patient who may be aggrieved by a physician's actions nor does it provide support to physicians who have been or may be sued for malpractice.

To assist the public in answering questions and concerns about the service, attitude and conduct of a physician and the role of the College in ensuring that each and every physician adheres to the standards of practise and ethical conduct set by the College, the College has developed a brochure on the complaints process. Included in the brochure is the Complaints Toll Fee telephone number, 1-800-667-1668.

A report of the Committee's activities and a summary of its findings is published each year.

You may download a copy of the brochure Your Guide to the Complaints Process or you may request that it be sent to you in the mail by contacting the College office.

For more information, please see the Complaints section of this website.

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