If you think that one of your rights as a patient has not been respected by a healthcare practitioner in the ambulatory care sector who is working outside the hospital (e.g. a general practitioner, a specialist in his/her practice, an independent nurse, a dentist, a physician working in a rest home, a physician working in a jail), you may address yourself to the Federal Ombudsman Service for Patients’ Rights.

FPS Health, Food Chain, Safety and Environment

Directorate-General Health Care

Federal Ombudsman Service for Patients’ Rights

Victor Hortaplein 40, box 10

1060 Brussels

Dutch-speaking Federal Ombudsman

Tel.: 02/524.85.20

Fax: 02/524.85.38

E-mail: bemiddeling-patientenrechten@health.fgov.be

French-speaking Federal Ombudsman

Tel.: 02/524.85.21

Fax: 02/524.85.38

E-mail: mediation-droitsdupatient@health.fgov.be

Tasks

·      The ombudsman has as first task to promote communication between the patient and the healthcare practitioner thanks to preventive measures  in order to prevent complaints.

·      If a patient lodges a complaint with a competent ombudsman service because (s)he is of the opinion that one of his/her rights was not respected (e.g. lack of information on his/her state of health, difficulty to access to the health records or inadequate care quality), the mediation is an attempt to solve the disagreement with the cooperation of the patient and the healthcare practitioner.

·      If the parties do not come to a solution, the ombudsman informs the complainant of other possibilities to deal with his/her request.

·      In addition to distributing information relating to its own organization, the ombudsman service also formulates recommendations in the framework of its annual report to avoid certain dissatisfactions related to patients' rights being re-occurring. This report, in particular, is submitted to the Federal Commission on Patients’ Rights.

The annual reports of the Federal Ombudsman Service for Patients’ Rights are available in Dutch and French.