Statutory review of the Health and Community Services Complaints Act 1998

Under section 106 of the Health and Community Services Complaints Act 1998 there is a requirement that the operation of the Act be reviewed. The Department of the Attorney-General and Justice has commenced a review of the Act. This review will identify any amendments that need to be made to the Act.

The review will examine both operational issues (such as how the Act is operating) as well as law reform options arising from both local operational issues as well as law reform that has occurred at the national level and in the Australian states and the Australian Capital Territory. These issues will be examined in light of the objects set out in section 3 of the Act — which are:

(a) to establish a health and community services complaints system that:

(i) provides an independent, just, fair and accessible mechanism for resolving complaints between users and providers of health services and community services; and

(ii) encourages and assists users and providers to resolve complaints directly with each other; and

(iii) leads to improvements in health services and community services and enables users and providers to contribute to the review and improvement of health services and community services; and

(iv) promotes the rights of users of health services and community services; and

(v) encourages an awareness of the rights and responsibilities of users and providers of health services and community services; and

(b) to set out the powers and functions of the Commissioner; and

(c) to develop the Code of Health and Community Rights and Responsibilities.

In conducting the review the Department will consult with key stakeholders and draw on a 2003/4 review of the Act PDF (14.4 MB).

The Department intends to complete the majority of the work by 31 December 2021.


Last updated: 27 September 2021

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