Patient mediation

If you feel that your patient rights are not being respected, you may file a complaint with the ombudsman. This would be the route to go if you cannot get any information about the condition of your health or if you encounter any problems gaining access to your medical records. Via patient mediation* the ombudsman's mediator can negotiate an amicable arrangement between u, as patient, and your healthcare provider*. Mediators are unbiased and neutral and their services are free of charge.
In general, hospitals will have their own ombudsman. If you wish to make a complaint about an individual healthcare provider in the outpatient sector* (e.g. a general practitioner or dentist with a private practice) however, you should contact the Federal "Patient Rights" Ombudsman.
The contact details of the mediators have been published on www.patientrights.be. You are also welcome to download the brochure “Patients Rights - an Invitation to Dialogue” from this website.

The Order of Physicians

If you believe that you have been prejudiced by the actions of a physician, you may file a complaint with the Provincial Council under whose authority the physician in question is practising his/her medical profession. The Council will only advise you on the complaint's state of play however. It will not inform you of any disciplinary sanctions that may have been imposed.
The Provincial Councils also act as arbitrator in any disputes that may arise about the fees physicians charge. In these cases, the patient will be kept informed about the outcome of his/her application.

The Provincial Medical Commissions

The Provincial Medical Commissions may revoke the licence to practise of individual healthcare providers (e.g.: physicians, dentists, nurses) or subject its retention to certain conditions. These commissions also intervene when a particular healthcare provider is no longer physically or mentally able to pursue his/her profession without exposing anyone to risk.

 

The Inspection and Monitoring Services of the Communities and Regions

These services investigate complaints about the hygiene, recognition and quality standards governing healthcare in hospitals.
They can be contacted at the following addresses:

  • The Walloon Region: Mrs Magali MOSBEUX - Tel. +32(0)81 32 72 89
  • The Brussels-Capital Region: Mr Alain JORIS - Tel: +32(0)2 502 60 01
  • The Flemish Region gezondheidszorg@vlaanderen.be

Flanders:

  • First submit your complaint to the facility or organisation itself. Some facilities have their own ombuds service or complaints procedure. If you can’t find that, then submit your complaint via the general contact address of the organisation or facility. The Care and Health Agency checks that recognised or maintained facilities and organisations deal with their complaints.
  • If you get no response to your complaint or if you prefer not to submit your complaint directly to the facility or organisation, then send your complaint to the Flemish Care and Health Agency:zorg-en-gezondheid@vlaanderen.be; Tel +32(0)2 553 35 00

Walloon Region:

As a point of principle and in order to ensure that complaints are handled as efficiently as possible, the Department of Hospital Care in Wallonia requires all complaints to be written and signed, and for the complainant’s contact details to be included. The complainant’s anonymity is assured, except in cases where the medical inspector has to conduct hearings (doctors, nurses) or consult an individual file.

With rare exceptions, all complaints are the subject of an on-the-spot investigation by the inspector responsible for the monitoring of the hospital concerned. Hearings of complainants and/or witnesses are sometimes required, and administrative, financial and/or medical files often need to be examined in order to clarify what are often complex situations.

Once the complaint has been dealt with, the complainant is notified in writing of the inspection’s conclusions.
 

Common Community Commission (Brussels) :

The Common Community Commission checks that the regulations are applied. Complaints can always be submitted to the administration either through the website of the COCOM, by phone, by email or by writing.


The Inspection Bodies with competence for psychiatric patients

Flanders:

  • First submit your complaint to the facility or organisation itself. Some facilities have their own ombuds service or complaints procedure. If you can’t find that, then submit your complaint via the general contact address of the organisation or facility. The Care and Health Agency checks that recognised or maintained facilities and organisations deal with their complaints.
  •  If you get no response to your complaint or if you prefer not to submit your complaint directly to the facility or organisation, then send your complaint to the Flemish Care and Health Agency: lien:zorg-en-gezondheid@vlaanderen.be; Tel +32(0)2 553 35 00
     

Walloon Region:

As a point of principle and in order to ensure that complaints are handled as efficiently as possible, the Department of Hospital Care in Wallonia requires all complaints to be written and signed, and for the complainant’s contact details to be included. The complainant’s anonymity is assured, except in cases where the medical inspector has to conduct hearings (doctors, nurses) or consult an individual file.

With rare exceptions, all complaints are the subject of an on-the-spot investigation by the inspector responsible for the monitoring of the hospital concerned. Hearings of complainants and/or witnesses are sometimes required, and administrative, financial and/or medical files often need to be examined in order to clarify what are often complex situations.

Once the complaint has been dealt with, the complainant is notified in writing of the inspection’s conclusions.
 

* see Glossary