Gold Coast a healthcare nightmare

GOLD Coast residents are not afraid to pick up the phone and complain when it comes to their health care, according to new statistics.

Data recently realised by Queensland's independent health watchdog, the Health Quality and Complaints Commission, showed one in 10 people who made a healthcare complaint in Queensland in the past year were Gold Coast residents.

The figures were released as part of the HQCC 2010-11 annual report, along with trends in other Queensland regions.

For the first time, the report featured de-identified case summaries of all the investigations closed in the year.

Health Quality and Complaints Commission CEO Cheryl Herbert said the most common causes of Gold Coast residents' complaints were inadequate treatment, communication and information, and medication.

"Patients complain when they are dissatisfied with their treatment, suffer an unexpected outcome or feel their healthcare provider's communication could have been better," Mrs Herbert said.

The positive side of the report showed many of the complainants did not require help from the HQCC.

"Encouragingly, 62% of complaints were resolved directly between the client and the provider, with only minimal assistance from us," Mrs Herbert said.

"This shows that both patients and providers are working together to improve healthcare across the state."

The HQCC is an independent body dedicated to improving the quality and safety of health services and resolves complaints, investigates serious healthcare issues and monitors the quality of health services across the state

 

DIAGNOSING THE FACTS

  • In 2010/2011, 12% of complaints were from Gold Coast residents while 6% were from the Sunshine Coast, 4% from Ipswich, 7% from Wide Bay and 4% for Central Queensland
  • 4928 enquiries and complaints were received this year, a 10% increase on 2009-10
  • 81% of investigations closed within 12 months
  • 71% of conciliations were successful
  • Licensed private hospitals accounted for 10% of organisation complaints, followed by medical centres with 8%
  • The most common causes of Gold Coast residents' complaints were inadequate treatment, communication and information, and medication
  • 90% of complaints were assessed in 90 days
  • In 2010/2011 62% of complaints were resolved directly between the client and the provider
  • 93% of hospitals complied with healthcare standards
  • Doctors and dental practitioners accounted for 93% of the complaints that were received about individual healthcare practitioners in 2010-11


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