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Dissatisfied with Services? How to File a Complaint

User's Rights Pamphlet
PDF Brochure

In the health and social services network, lodging a complaint is a legal right.  And indicating dissatisfaction is an excellent way to improve quality of care and services.  It is a useful contribution, both for the individual user himself, and for all of the users at their care facility.

What are my rights?

The raison d’être of the services is the person who requires them.  This is one of the guidelines on which the Act respecting health services and social services (LSSSS) is based. The rights of the users are:

  • Right to information
  • Right to receive services
  • Right to choose a professional or institution
  • Right to receive appropriate care according to one’s health status
  • Right to consent to care or refuse care
  • Right to actively participate in decision-making process
  • Right to be accompanied, assisted and represented
  • Right to shelter/accommodation
  • Right to receive services in English
  • Right to access one’s user’s file
  • Right to the confidentiality of one’s user’s file
  • Right to lodge a complaint

I can file a complaint with which public health care or social service facility?

It can include an institution in the health care and social service center, a long-term care facility, a community organization, a private seniors home, an intermediary resource, an ambulance transport service, a family-type resource, or a private group home (i.e., drug addiction or pathological gambling).

Who can file a complaint?  

The user or his or her representative, or the heir or legal representative of a deceased user, who believe their rights have been infringed or are dissatisfied with the services received may express their dissatisfaction or file a verbal or written complaint by phone, email or in person.

Who does one go to in order to lodge a complaint? 

In the health and social services network, lodging a complaint is a legal right.  And indicating dissatisfaction is an excellent way to improve quality of care and services.  It is a useful contribution, both for yourself, and for all users at their care facility.

  • Before filing a complaint, you are encouraged to first speak with the staff responsible for the care and services of the institution in question. If you decide to meet with this staff member, you may be accompanied by a person of your choice or by a Users’ Committee Representative.
  • If you would like to express your dissatisfaction and make comments or suggestions for improvements without filing a formal complaint, you can contact the Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux (CISSS) de l’Outaouais at 819-771- 4179 or toll-free at 1 844 771-4179. This procedure is confidential.
  • When a problematic situation cannot be solved easily, or if you are still not satisfied, the Act respecting Health Services and Social Services provides a mechanism through which you can state your view, be heard, understood, and respected.  To file your complaint, you must contact the Service Quality and Complaints Commissioner at 819 771-4179 or toll-free at 1 844 771-4179.  For more detailed information about the complaint process, please visit the Health and Social Services Network Complaint Examination System website.  This website also provides information on the complaint process for professionals who work in a private practice.

What if I need help?

Is there the possibility of a second recourse?

In the event that the user is not satisfied with the response given by the institution or with the measures put in place to resolve the situation, he or she can apply to the Quebec Ombudsperson, call 1-800-463-5070 or email .

Where can I find additional information?

You can also find additional information from the Québec Government’s The Health and Social Services Network Complaint Examination System and the Regroupement Provincial des Comités des Usagers.

The RPCU also has a great information pamphlet: Users and Loved Ones at the Heart of Decision-Making!

Éducaloi’s new online guide The Law and Mental Health: What you Need to Know can also answer a variety of questions you might have.