Complaints (Who to contact)

Complaining is the right thing to do         

The following information might be helpful to caregivers who may want to proceed with either an internal complaint at a care institution or an official complaint with the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care (MOHLTC, the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) or the Patient Ombudsman.

To report an unsatisfactory response from a LTC facility regarding an internal complaint:

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC)
Performance Improvement and Compliance Branch
347 Preston Street, 4th Floor
Ottawa, ON K1S 3J4
(613) 364-2256 or (613) 569-5602
FAX: (613) 569-9670

To report an unsatisfactory response from the Ottawa Regional Office of the MOHLTC regarding a complaint, or to appeal a decision of the ministry’s Ottawa Regional Office about a complaint that was not fully investigated:

Director of Compliance
Ministry of Health and Long-term Care (MOHLTC)
Performance Improvement and Compliance Branch
55 St. Clair Avenue West
8th Floor, Suite 800
Toronto, ON M4V 2 Y7

Note: When a caregiver files an official complaint with the MOHLTC, this information is promptly forwarded to the facility or the health care worker named in the complaint. The facility or the health care worker is given a deadline to respond, but their responses are not revealed to the caregiver. Caregivers or substitute decision-makers have the option to make a request through The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act to review any information about them used by a facility or a health care worker to defend their actions. There will be a small fee for the release of that information, but it can be well worth it to help a caregiver proceed with a complaint. It is always helpful to know exactly what one may be falsely accused of.

Ministry of Health and Long-term Care (MOHLTC)

Access, Privacy & Corporate Coordination
Corporate Services Division
5700 Yonge Street
6th Floor
North York, ON M2M 4K5
Tel.: (416) 327-7040
Fax: (416) 327-7044

To report an unreasonable and unfair decision of the MOHLTC following an appeal regarding a complaint against a LTC facility:

Ombudsman Ontario
483 Bay Street, 10th Floor, South Tower
Toronto, ON M5G 2C9
416-586-3334 (fax)

Note: Ombudsman Ontario does not have direct jurisdiction over LTC facilities, but it does have the authority to contact the MOHLTC to make inquiries on behalf of a caregiver.

To report the unprofessional conduct of nursing personnel:
College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO)
101 Davenport Road
Toronto, ON M5R 3P1
(416) 928-0900
(416-928-6507 (fax)
800-387-5526 (toll free)

To appeal an unreasonable decision of the CNO regarding a complaint against a nurse:

Health Professions Appeal and Review Board (HPARB)
151 Bloor Street West
9th Floor
Toronto, ON M5S 1S4

Note: To report procedural unfairness regarding a decision of the HPARB, a caregiver can contact the Office of the Ombudsman for Ontario. Though the Ombudsman does not have the authority to overturn decisions made by the HPARB tribunals, it can review a particular process or decision to identify problems. The Ombudsman can make recommendations to the tribunal to address issues such as the following:

  • Was the decision of the tribunal authorized by the legislation?
  • Was the decision based on the evidence that was before the tribunal?
  • Was the tribunal process fair?
  • Were relevant and material issues addressed?
  • Were adequate reasons provided for the decision?
  • Were there any underlying systemic issues related to the decision?

If caregivers or substitute decision-makers have a complaint against a public hospital, a LTC facility or a Community Care Access Centre (CCAC), they can approach the Office of the Patient Ombudsman to make sure that what happened to them will not happen to anyone else. Caregivers will need to show that they have been through every other complaint process available before approaching the Patient Ombudsman.

Patient Ombudsman

Box 130
77 Wellesley Street West
Toronto, ON M7A 1N3
1-(888) 321-0339 (toll free)
(416) 597-5372 (main line)
(416) 597-5371 (fax)