Role, mandate and independence of the Office of the Commissionner

The Office of the Commissioner is an entirely independent and neutral entity with the power to intervene in matters that affect the rights of healthcare users. Nearly 180 establishments are under the jurisdiction of the Service Quality and Complaints Commissioner of CIUSSS West-Central Montreal, to which can be added the cases of mistreatment reported on the area served by this CIUSSS.

The Service Quality and Complaints Commissioner is appointed by the CIUSSS’s Board of Directors and reports to it exclusively. It applies the complaint examination procedure and is responsible to the Board of Directors for promoting the rights of users, their satisfaction and the diligent handling of their complaints. To this end, it exclusively exercises the functions provided for in the Act Respecting Health and Social Services (LSSSS). As part of her duties, the Commissioner intervenes on her own initiative when facts come to her attention and she has reasonable grounds to believe that the rights of a user or a group of users are not being respected.

The Commissioner takes the necessary means to promote and publicize the complaint examination mechanism among users and staff of the CIUSSS, while promoting its functional independence.

The guiding values of the Office of the Commissioner:

  • Accessibility for all users to the complaint review mechanism
  • Fairness in handling complaints
  • Impartiality of the Office of the Commissioner in examining situations that are intended to ensure continuous improvement in the quality of care and services

Our role with respect to the CIUSSS’s healthcare users

The Office of the Commissioner examines and manages complaints from users who have received, are receiving or should receive care or any type of service from the CIUSSS. The Office responds within 45 days of receiving a complaint. It supports users during the complaint process to ensure that their rights are respected and that the quality of care and services is improved.

The Office of the Commssioner functions independently. It develops long-term solutions by ensuring that users' rights are respected and that the proper rules and procedures are applied. Subsequently, it makes any recommendations that may be necessary. However, this does not necessarily mean that all of the parties to a particular complaint will be satisfied, nor that all of the user's expectations will be met. This is because the Office of the Commissioner:

  • does not take sides
  • does not have the objective of finding anyone guilty of a particular act
  • does not blame or defend the CIUSSS or the user
  • is not a legal service that pursues people or institutions with the intention of punishing them
  • does not grant preferential access to services
  • does not provide or arrange for financial compensation

Other activities of the Office of the Commissioner

In addition to managing complaints, the Office of the Commissioner:

  • Assists users in filing a complaint, particularly those who have difficulty navigating the public healthcare system
  • Intervenes when there are reasonable grounds to believe that the rights of a user or a group of users are not being respected. The Office of the Commissioner may intervene on its own initiative to ensure that these rights are respected, including interventions stemming from reports of mistreatment of the elderly or any other individual in a vulnerable situation.
  • Consults by providing an opinion about certain matters, at the request of various bodies inside or outside the CIUSSS
  • Serves as the entry point for medical complaints that are sent to the Medical Examiners who have been designated by the Board of Directors

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