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Saskatchewan’s ombudsman still taking health complaints

Saskatchewan’s ombudsman Mary McFadyen says people can still contact her office with administrative health complaints.
Saskatchewan’s ombudsman Mary McFadyen says people can still contact her office with administrative health complaints. Kael Donnelly / Global News

Saskatchewan’s ombudsman says although the province has moved to one health region, her office is still taking health complaints.

Mary McFadyen said it is important for people to know there is an impartial office to deal with administrative complaints.

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“It is important for people to know there is an independent and impartial office that they can contact if they think a public health provider has been unfair to them, and they have been unable to resolve it,” McFadyen said in a release.

“We are still here and our mandate in health remains the same.”

McFadyen said her office will become involved in a complaint if it has not been first resolved by the Saskatchewan Health Authority or a public health provider.

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The ombudsman office also takes complaints about the Ministry of Health, the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency, e-Health, and other public health entities.

She said her staff will first review the complaint to see what sort of involvement is required and whether it can be resolved informally.

Those complaints can include wrongful ambulance billing or accessing services.

McFadyen said if a complaint can’t be dealt with informally, her office may investigate, reviews the findings, and decide whether to make recommendations.

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This was done in 2015 when the ombudsman office received 89 complaints about the quality of care in long-term care homes, resulting in recommendations being made in the report Taking Care.

Any complaints about medical expertise need to be made to the appropriate professional body, such as the College of Physicians and Surgeons for Saskatchewan or the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association.