Health and social services | Protecteur du Citoyen

Health and social services

In the health and social services network, the Québec Ombudsman is the second level of recourse. As a rule, first you have to contact the local or regional service quality and complaints commissioner of the institution where you received the services for which you filed your complaint.

The Health and Social Services Complaints Examination Procedure informs users about how the Québec Ombudsman acts at the second level of recourse following a decision by a service quality and complaints commissioner. 

If you do not get an answer from the commissioner within 45 days, or if you are not satisfied with it, you can contact the Québec Ombudsman. We will be able to help you if your problem concerns:

  • a hospital centre;
  • a local community service centre (CLSC);
  • a private seniors’ residence;
  • a residential and long-term care centre (CHSLD); 
  • a youth centre; 
  • a Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux (CISSS);
  • a Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux (CIUSSS);
  • a Centre de santé et de services sociaux (CSSS);
  • a rehabilitation centre; 
  • an intermediate or family-type resource; 
  • a reception centre (substance abuse, gambling, disabilities);
  • a community organization within the meaning of the Act respecting health services and social services
  • an ambulance company; 
  • any other agency, company or individual having signed an agreement with a health and social services institution. 

The complaint assistance and support centre in your region (1-877-767-2227) can also answer your  questions and help you file your complaint. 

The Health and Social Services Intervention Procedure spells out the respective obligation of institutions and the Québec Ombudsman when we act further to a report or on our own initiative. 

Prescribed deadlines for handling a complaint

Did you know that under the Act respecting the Health and Social Services Ombudsman, the Québec Ombudsman can handle a complaint up to two years after the user has gotten the service quality and complaint commissioner’s conclusions? 

According to the Act, users can come to the Québec Ombudsman in the 24 months after they receive the commissioner’s conclusions. After this period, we can refuse to examine that complaint in the second instance unless users can prove that it was impossible for them to act sooner. If we feel that the circumstances warrant it, we can act on our own initiative even if the two-year deadline has gone by. 

Want to file a complaint at the second level of recourse?

Use our online form