Hospital: medically required rooms are not always billable

  • April 2, 2024
Man lying in a hospital bed and staring at a female officer who is holding a form.

The relative of a citizen at the end of life lodged a complaint against a hospital that charged the citizen for his private room.

Because of his state of health, the citizen was isolated in this room as soon as he arrived.

The next day, an administrative clerk asked him to choose his room. According to her, in order to stay in a private room, the man had to select that option. He did so but was then charged for the room.

The citizen had been misinformed. Even before the clerk intervened, the private room had been medically required. This is why the Québec Ombudsman considered that the man did not have to select it in order to stay there, nor did he have to pay for it.

The hospital agreed to cancel the invoice. It also took steps so that its agents give the right information to citizens in the same circumstances.

To learn more about this real-life case, see our 2022-2023 Annual Report.

The Québec Ombudsman ensures that your rights are upheld in your dealings with Québec public services. Are you dissatisfied with the services of a Government of Québec department or agency? Or with those of a health and social services network institution (2nd level of recourse)? File a complaint by calling 1-800-463-5070 or using our online complaint form.