November 15, 2017

Object lost or stolen at the hospital. Can you do anything about it?

Corps

Objets perdusAfter surgery or a hospital stay, you realize that an object that you had with you when you were admitted has gone missing.

Watch, jewelry, eyeglasses, wallet, dentures or hearing aid...

When this happens, begin by telling a member of the staff. A search for the item must begin and be noted in your file. A report may be written.

If the object in question is not found, you can file a formal complaint with the hospital. Procedure varies depending on the institution and the exact nature of your complaint. Your file may be forwarded to the hospital’s claims section, to the service quality and complaints commissioner, or to both.

Remember that the institution is obliged to employ all reasonable means to ensure that users’ personal effects are protected. If this is not done, and depending on the person’s capacity, institutions may be held liable for loss, theft or breakage.

One of the precautions hospitals can take is to inform users about the risks of objects of value disappearing and to encourage them not to keep them in their possession. Users can give them to a family member for safekeeping or ask that the items be put in a safe place such as a safety deposit box, if available.

If you are not satisfied with the outcome, feel free to contact us. The Québec Ombudsman is the second level of recourse after the institution’s service quality and complaints commissioner. We intervene free of charge and with complete confidentiality.