The Complaint Process

by College of Physicians and Surgeons of Prince Edward Island on Apr 30, 1999

The Complaint Process


The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Prince Edward Island tries to make sure that you get the best medical care possible by allowing only medical doctors licensed by the College to practice in PEI.

You Have the Right to Complain

If you are concerned about the care you have been given by a medical doctor, you have the right to complain to the College.  You should let us know about any concern(s) as soon as possible.  However, the College will investigate only written complaints.

Telling Us About Your Complaint

If you have a complaint about your medical doctor's care, send a letter describing your complaint to the College.  Please include the following information in your letter:
  • your name, address, postal code, and phone number;
  • the name(s) of the medical doctor(s);
  • a description of your complaint;
  • the date(s) the event(s) occurred;
  • the name of any hospital involved; and
  • the name and address of any other person who may have information to support your complaint.

The more information you can give us, the easier it will be for us to investigate your complaint.  If you are not sure about complaining and would like to talk to someone, our Registrar would be pleased to discuss your concerns with you.  The Registrar may be contacted at the address or telephone number in our Contact section of this website.

Investigating Your Complaint

We will confirm in writing or by phone that we have received your letter and then forward your letter of complaint to the Complaints and Registration Committee of the College and to the medical doctor concerned for his/her reply.  The Complaints Committee (which includes a member of the public and at least two medical doctors) will consider both sides of the issue and decide on any further investigation.  The Complaints Committee may ask to meet with you (and any support person you may wish to have accompany you) to discuss your concerns and allow you to have your questions answered.  It is possible that further investigation will be necessary, which may include a review of your medical records, and you may be asked to sign a release form for information from your hospital or medical doctor's files.

Conclusion

The Complaints Committee reviews all information collected during the investigation and reports to the College Council on their findings and recommendations.

Examples of possible conclusions are:
  1. If there is evidence of wrongdoing, the matter may directed to the College's Fitness to Practice Committee or the more formal Board of Inquiry for a hearing.  The Fitness to Practice Committee is made up of two medical doctors, who are not members of the Complaints and Registration Committee and a public member.  At this level, the College brings the case against a medical doctor.  You may be called as a witness to support the charges against the medical doctor.
  2. If it is felt that there was no clear evidence of medical mismanagement or breach of ethical or moral protocols, but the situation could have been better handled, the college will discuss the concerns with the medical doctor.
  3. The medical doctor will be given advice about improving his/her care.
  4. The complaint will be dismissed.

Letting You Know Our Decision

Once the Council has made its decision, a letter will be sent to you and to the medical doctor concerned advising of the decision.  You may appeal the decision my writing to the College, within one month, stating the reasons you disagree with the Council's decision.

How to Contact Us

Contact us through any of the ways listed on the Contact Page.