Complaints options for private patients
For nearly all types of complaint, you should complain locally as a first step.
After that, your options are different, depending on whether you were treated as a public patient or as a private patient.
You can find out more in our page, ‘Public patient or private patient?‘
Option 1: Complain locally
Service providers are the people and organisations that provide your health and social care. Examples include health centres, hospitals, GPs (family doctors), dentists, physiotherapists, opticians and social workers.
For nearly all types of complaint, the first place you should complain is directly to the service provider.
Option 2: Contact a regulator
Regulators have responsibility for protecting the quality and safety of health and social care services. Regulators can regulate different things, for example, they can be responsible for health professionals, health service quality or medicines.
- Professional regualtors include the Medical Council, The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland, the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland and CORU.
- Service quality regulators include the Mental Health Commission and the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA).
- Medicines and healthcare product regulators include the Irish Medicines Board and the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI).
If you have a complaint about a health professional or a healthcare service, it may be appropriate to complain to a regulator. Most of the regulators can take a complaint from a member of the public, but there are restrictions on how some of the regulators can handle that complaint.
Option 3: Get legal advice
If you feel your complaint is particularly serious, you may wish to get legal advice on your complaint. It is recommended to always get legal advice before you begin legal action.