Where to complain about medical professionals

Introduction

The following are statutory regulatory bodies for the health and social care professions in Ireland. In general, they promote high standards of professional conduct, maintain a register of qualified personnel and investigate allegations of professional misconduct or fitness to practice. They usually have a Fitness to Practise or similar committee. This committee deals with complaints into the conduct of a registered practitioner. The complaint may be on the grounds of professional misconduct and/or fitness to engage in the practice by reason of physical or mental disability.

The Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005 provided for a system of statutory registration for certain health and social care professions. They are:

  • Clinical biochemists
  • Dieticians
  • Medical scientists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Optometrists and dispensing opticians
  • Orthoptists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Podiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • Radiographers
  • Social care workers
  • Social workers
  • Speech and language therapists

The Health and Social Care Professionals Council (CORU) was established in March 2007. It is in the process of establishing a Registration Board for each of these professions, as well as a committee structure to deal with complaints made against registered professionals. You can read more about the registration of social and health care professionals here.

In this document we give the regulatory bodies for the major health and social care professions. You can read more about other health service agencies here.

Doctors

The Medical Council protects the interests of the public when dealing with registered medical practitioners. Information on making a complaint is available on the Council's website.

Dentists

The Dental Council is a statutory body which provides for the registration of dentists. The Council can inquire into a registered dentist’s fitness to practise dentistry.

Nurses

An Bord Altranais (The Nursing Board) is the statutory body which provides for the registration, control and education of nurses and for other matters relating to nurses and the practice of nursing.

Pharmacists

The Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI) is a statutory body, established under the Pharmacy Act 2007 as the pharmacy regulator. It is charged with regulating the practice and profession of pharmacy. All pharmacies and pharmacists must be registered with it. Their goal is the promotion of patient safety and public health, and its primary responsibility is to the general public.

Vets

The Veterinary Council of Ireland was established under the Veterinary Practice Act 2005. The main function of the Council is to regulate the practice of veterinary medicine and nursing in the public interest. Information on making a complaint is available on the Council's website.

Alternative healthcare practitioners

Complementary and alternative healthcare practitioners are professionals who use acupuncture, herbs, homeopathy, therapeutic massage, oriental medicine or other methods to promote well being or treat health conditions. There are no statutory registration requirements for the practitioners of complementary therapies currently.

While they are not subject to statutory professional regulation, they are subject to legislation, similar to other practitioners, including consumer protection, health and safety, competition, contract and criminal law.

Rules

If you have a complaint against a medical professional, you can bring it to the attention of the relevant professional organisation. There is information on making a complaint about health and social care services at healthcomplaints.ie. You can read general guidelines on making a complaint here.

Contact

Page edited: 26 January 2017