Complain about a medical professional

Private medical services

There are different bodies that regulate private medical services.

Medical professionals must be registered with the appropriate body to legally practice in Ireland.

These regulatory bodies keep registers of professionals and can remove a healthcare professional from the register if they are found guilty of serious professional misconduct.

This page explains where to complain about medical services you have received from a private medical professional, or where you think a medical professional working in a public healthcare facility is guilty of professional misconduct.

Public health services

Get advice on making a complaint about a health service if your complaint relates to a public health or social care service.

What is professional misconduct?

Professional misconduct is behaviour that falls short of the ethical or professional standards accepted by a particular profession.

Examples of professional misconduct include:

  • Dishonesty
  • Taking advantage of your age or inexperience
  • Acting against your instructions
  • Using insulting, racist or sexist language

How to make a complaint

Firstly, you should complain directly to the medical professional or service. Make your complaint face-to-face, over the phone or in writing.

Explain what your complaint is about and how you want it to be put right.

You can ask the service about its complaint’s procedure, or you can contact the appropriate regulatory body. See ‘Taking your complaint further’ below.

Taking your complaint further

If your complaint cannot be resolved by the professional themselves or by their service (the clinic or hospital, for example), you can make a formal complaint to the relevant regulatory body.


Medical doctors in Ireland are regulated by the Medical Council.

The Medical Council can investigate complaints about a doctor’s fitness to practise medicine. If the complaint is serious and raises concerns over a doctor’s fitness to practise, the Council can restrict the doctor’s registration. This could remove their right to practice medicine in Ireland. The Medical Council has more information about making a complaint about a doctor (pdf).

Nurses and midwives

Nursing and midwifery professions are regulated by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI).

The NMBI is legally responsible for handling complaints against nurses and midwives who practise in Ireland. If the complaint raises serious concerns about the nurse or midwife’s fitness to practise, the NMBI can use sanctions against the nurse or midwife. The NMBI has more information about making a complaint about a nurse or midwife.


If you are not satisfied with the response you receive after complaining directly to your dentist, you can contact the Dental Complaints Resolution Service. They will work with you and the dentist to resolve the complaint.


The Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI) is an independent public body that handles complaints made against pharmacists and pharmacies.

Some complaints are resolved through mediation. Otherwise, the PSI will arrange a hearing before a committee of inquiry. The PSI has more information about making a complaint about a pharmacist or pharmacy.

Healthcare professionals regulated by CORU

A number of health and social care professions are regulated by CORU.

CORU currently regulates the following professions:

  • Dietitians
  • Dispensing opticians
  • Medical scientists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Optometrists
  • Physical therapists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Podiatrists and chiropodists[AK1]
  • Radiographers
  • Radiation therapists

The following professions will be regulated by CORU in the future:

  • Clinical biochemists
  • Counsellors and psychotherapists
  • Orthoptists
  • Psychologists
  • Social care workers

CORU, and the regulation of these healthcare professionals are set out in the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005 (as amended).

Counsellors and therapists

A registration board for counsellors and psychotherapists is developing a registration and regulation system. When this is established, complaints about counsellors and psychotherapists will be investigated by CORU.

The Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP) promotes best practice and represents counsellors and therapists. Counsellors and psychotherapists do not have to be registered with the IACP.


The Veterinary Council of Ireland (VCI) regulates vets and veterinary nurses. The VCI handles complaints about registered veterinary practitioners and nurses. It can remove the practitioner or nurse from the register.

The VCI has more information about complaints against a vet or veterinary nurse.

Alternative healthcare practitioners

Some examples of complementary and alternative medicines are:

  • Acupuncture
  • Herbs
  • Homeopathy
  • Therapeutic massage
  • Oriental medicine

There are no registration requirements for practitioners of complementary therapies. However, clinics and professionals are still subject to consumer protection, health and safety, competition, contract and criminal law. The Department of Health has more advice about complementary therapy (pdf).

Further information

Find out more about your consumer rights.

Get more advice about how to make a complaint.

You can find out more about making a complaint about a health service and health service agencies.

CORU Health and Social Care Professionals Council

Infinity Building
George's Court
George's Lane
Dublin 7
D07 E98Y

Tel: (01) 293 3160

Medical Council

Kingram House
Kingram Place
Dublin 2
D02 XY88

Tel: +353 (0)1 498 3100

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland

18-20 Carysfort Avenue
Co. Dublin

Tel: +353 (01) 639 8500
Fax: +353 (01) 639 8595

Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland

18 Shrewsbury Road

Tel: +353 (0)1 2837294
Fax: +353 (0)1 2837678

Veterinary Council of Ireland

53 Lansdowne Road
Dublin 4
D04 NY29

Tel: 01 688 4402
Page edited: 20 July 2023