Office of the Ombudsman

About the Office of the Ombudsman

The Ombudsman investigates complaints from members of the public who feel they have been unfairly treated by certain public service providers.

In the Health sector, these include the Health Service Executive (HSE), the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), the Irish Medicines Board and certain functions of An Bord Altranais, Bord na Radharcmhastóirí (Opticians Board), the Dental Council, the Health and Social Care Professionals Council (CORU), the Medical Council, the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland, the Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council and the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland. More information regarding the certain functions which can be examined by the Ombudsman in relation to the above bodies, can be found on the Ombudsman’s website under the ‘Make a Complaint’ section.

To investigate a complaint about the Health Service Executive (HSE) or any public service provider, the Office of the Ombudsman has the power to demand any information, document or file from a provider and require any official to give information.

The service is impartial, independent and free.

Who can complain to the Ombudsman?

Anyone can make a complaint. You can complain about the HSE or any public service provider on your own behalf or for someone else if they ask you to do so. You can make a complaint as an individual or as a public representative, business or organisation.

What complaints can I take to the Ombudsman?

You can complain to the Ombudsman about any action of the HSE or agencies, such as charities and voluntary bodies, that deliver health and social services on behalf of the HSE.

What complaints can I not take to the Ombudsman?

You cannot make a complaint to the Ombudsman:

  • if it has not been taken up locally
  • if a legal case has started
  • if your complaint is about terms and conditions of a contract
  • if you have a right of appeal to an independent appeal body
  • if your complaint is only about a judgement of a clinician in relation to the diagnosis of an illness or the type of treatment to be provided.

If your complaint relates to a child, you should contact the Ombudsman for Children.

Can I complain about public or private care, or both?

You can only complain to the Ombudsman about public care.

How do I make a complaint to the Ombudsman?

You can make a complaint to the Ombudsman:

By phone:

  • Tel: 01 639 5600


In writing:

Office of the Ombudsman
6 Earlsfort Terrace
Dublin 2 D02 W773

In person, at the Office:

  • 9.15am – 5.00pm (Monday – Friday)


When should I make my complaint?

You should try to resolve your complaint locally first.

You should approach the Office of the Ombudsman within 12 months of the action that has affected you, or the date you received a response to your complaint / appeal.

Is further explanatory information available?

The Office of the Ombudsman has extensive information available on their website: Make a Complaint.

Contact details

Office of the Ombudsman
6, Earlsfort Terrace,
Dublin 2, D02 W773, Ireland

Phone: 01 639 5600

Page last updated: 12 August 2020