In NSW, health and medical services are delivered by a range of doctors, nurses and health care providers in hospitals, clinics and private practices.
This page includes information on:
Who to contact
There are a few different government agencies looking after the various aspects of your overall health experience. Find out which one is looking after your concern below.
NSW Fair Trading
We can help you with your consumer rights and protections under Australian Consumer Law.
NSW Health Care Complaints Commission
The Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) can help you with complaints about:
- clinical management, care and treatment received
- the professional conduct of a health practitioner
- risks to the health or safety of the public.
Call the HCCC on 1800 043 159 or visit the website for more information.
Medicare is the universal health care system in Australia. Providing rebates for scheduled fees, it helps pay for some or all the costs of health care services including:
- seeing a GP or specialist
- tests and scans, like x-rays
- most surgery and procedures performed by doctors
- eye tests by optometrists
- medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
If you have an issue regarding a Medicare claim, or would like more information about Medicare, call (02) 6124 6333 or see the website.
Private health insurance
If you have a query or complaint regarding your private health insurance or insurer, you should contact them in the first instance.
If you are still unable to resolve your issue, contact the Commonwealth Ombudsman. The Commonwealth Ombudsman provides an independent complaint-handling service for complaints about health insurance arrangements.
National Health Practitioner Ombudsman and Privacy Commissioner
The National Health Practitioner Ombudsman and Privacy Commissioner (NHPOPC) handles complaints about the administrative processes of:
- Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)
- AHPRA Management Committee
- Australian Health Workforce Advisory Council
- 15 national boards including:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice Board of Australia
- Chinese Medicine Board of Australia
- Chiropractic Board of Australia
- Dental Board of Australia
- Medical Board of Australia
- Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia
- Osteopathy Board of Australia
- Pharmacy Board of Australia
- Physiotherapy Board of Australia
- Psychology Board of Australia.
Contact NHPOPC on 1300 795 265 or visit the website for more information.
Your consumer rights
Australian Consumer Law guarantees your rights when you buy goods and services.
In fact, most products and services purchased after 1 January 2011 come with an automatic consumer guarantee that the product or service you purchased will work and do what you asked for. This includes funeral products and services.
When you engage a business to provide a service, you have the right to expect ‘acceptable quality’. Services must be:
- provided with due care or skill (taking all necessary steps to avoid loss and damage)
- fit for any specified purpose (express or implied)
- provided in a reasonable time (when no time is set).
What is ‘reasonable’ will depend on the nature of the service, the difficulty of the task and other relevant factors like busy periods and public holidays etc.
Remedy when things go wrong
You are entitled to an appropriate remedy from the business when the product or service you purchased does not meet one or more of the consumer guarantees.
This might be a refund, a further service to rectify the problem and in some cases, reimbursement for damages and consequential loss.
The type of remedy will depend on whether the problem is minor or major. For more information, refer to our repairs, replacements and refunds page.
Proof of purchase and service documentation
You have the right to receive proof of purchase (like an invoice, cash register receipt, handwritten receipt or lay-by agreement).
Advertising can be a powerful means of persuasion, so it’s important it is truthful, accurate and easy to understand. Australian Consumer Law protects consumers from deceptive advertising claims and conduct.
Businesses are not allowed to make false or misleading representations about their products or services. This includes advertising for funeral products and services.
Learn more about advertising standards.
"If you believe a health organisation has breached Australian Consumer Law, contact us on 13 32 20."
Can’t find the information you’re looking for? Call us on 13 32 20 or submit an online enquiry.
Who enforces Australian Consumer Law?
The following agencies enforce provisions relating to consumer goods and services:
- Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)
- NSW Fair Trading, and
- other State and Territory consumer protection agencies.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is responsible for financial products and services.