Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, our office is not currently open for ‘drop-in’ or face-to-face appointments with complainants. Patient Ombudsman’s dedicated team continues to work with patients, caregivers, and health sector organizations by telephone and email to resolve health care complaints.
Patient Ombudsman is tracking the complaints we receive related to COVID-19 and is communicating the concerns we hear to the appropriate officials.
The latest information on public health measures, vaccination, and options for screening and testing is available online.
Common Complaints and Concerns
Patient Ombudsman is here to receive your complaints about health care experiences, both in general and related to COVID-19.
The following provides additional information on some of the most common concerns we hear about due to COVID-19.
As high-risk settings, both hospitals and long-term care homes put policies in place regarding visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic. These policies may limit the number of visitors, limit visitors based on vaccination status, or limit visitors in specific hospital units or long-term care wings due to outbreak in the facility.
Hospitals develop their own policies regarding visitation. Policies may differ from hospital to hospital or even from unit to unit within a hospital. Check with your local hospital to learn more about its policies regarding visitors and caregivers.
Long-term care homes follow recommendations from their local public health unit as well as guidance from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Long-Term Care. Contact a long-term care home directly to learn more about how it is implementing current provincial guidance on visitation.
While public health interventions are needed to protect the health and well-being of high-risk individuals, such as hospital patients and long-term care residents, our second COVID-19 Special Report outlines key principles for health care organizations to consider before implementing new restrictions on visitation.
Restrictions on visitation should:
be targeted and proportional to the risk,
be based on evidence,
allow for exceptions on compassionate grounds, and
include a plan to communicate the changes to those affected.
When working to resolve complaints about restriction to visitation, Patient Ombudsman staff also ask whether health care organizations have an appeals process or other process to review cases where visitation was denied.
Due to staffing shortages and growing demand, Home and Community Care Support Services (HCCSS) are temporarily adjusting care plans for some patients.
We recognize that these changes place an increased burden on caregivers. As long as there is no immediate health or safety risk to you/your loved one, it is unlikely that HSSCC will have the capacity to make exceptions to these service reductions.
If you are concerned that the reduction in your services will pose such a risk or if your situation changes, we encourage you to contact your care coordinator or the patient relations representative at your HCCSS.
If you are unhappy with the HCCSS’s response you can contact us again by telephone or submit a complaint using our online complaint form.
Patient Ombudsman continues to receive health care complaints about public hospitals, long-term care homes, home and community care.
We continue to receive a high volume of calls and enquiries. Our team is prioritizing the most urgent complaints and will respond as quickly as possible. We appreciate your patience.