COMPLAINTS PROCESS AND MANDATE
The College of Denturists of Ontario (the "College") is one of Ontario's 21 self-governing health-care regulatory colleges and operates under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 ("RHPA"), legislation which sets out the processes that must be used in dealing with the investigation of complaints. Click HERE for a copy of the Guide to the Complaints Process.
The College has a formal complaints process which gives everyone the right to have their complaint investigated by the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee ("ICRC" or "Committee"). Each step of the process is designed to ensure fairness to both the person filing the complaint, and the denturist who is named in the complaint. Every complaint that is received by the College is thoroughly and objectively investigated to determine if there is any evidence of professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity.
WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH A PROBLEM WITH MY DENTURIST?
Before you make a formal complaint to the College about unsatisfactory denture care, it is highly recommended you discuss your concerns directly with your denturist. If you are unsure of the quality or appropriateness of care a patient has a right to expect from a denturist, you can contact the College.
HOW DO I MAKE A COMPLAINT?
A formal complaint must be sent to us in writing or on audio or videotape, either by e-mail, or by surface mail (c/o Complaints Committee, College of Denturists of Ontario, 180 Bloor Street West, Suite 903, Toronto, ON M5S 2V6).
The College cannot accept a complaint by telephone.
We require the following information:
- your full name;
- a clear statement that you are submitting a complaint;
- your mailing address and telephone contact info;
- the full name of the denturist;
- as much detail as possible about your concerns;
- type of complaint (denture problem, conduct problem, other);
- type of denture (full/partial/both, upper/lower/ both); and
- the names of other denturists, health-care practitioners or persons that may have relevant information.
Once we have received a formal complaint, we will forward a letter acknowledging receipt of your formal complaint.
IS THERE A TIME LIMIT FOR MAKING A COMPLAINT?
While there is not typically a time limit on complaints, the College recognizes the diverse nature of complaints and maintains that certain complaints must be made within a reasonable time frame.
WHO DEALS WITH THE COMPLAINTS?
The ICRC will consider your complaint. The Committee consists of two denturists who are elected to Council, one denturist who is appointed by Council and two public representatives appointed by the provincial government.
HOW DOES THE PROCESS BEGIN?
When the College receives your complaint, a copy is forwarded to the denturist. The denturist has 30 days to submit a written response to the College. The complainant usually has an opportunity to review the denturist’s response. Your name and the nature of your complaint will be shared with the denturist, unless there is a question of personal safety or risk involved.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Investigation of the complaint includes written submissions from the denturist and any other denturists or health care providers who have treated or consulted with the patient. The College may request relevant records, charts and other information from the denturist, who has a duty to co-operate during the investigation. The Committee strives to complete the investigation and render a decision on every complaint within 150 days of having received the original complaint.
CAN THE COMMITTEE AWARD MONEY OR DAMAGES?
The law governing health professions only permits the Committee to make a decision about the denturist’s conduct and actions. The Committee cannot award compensation of any kind. Only the courts have that authority. If you are considering suing your denturist for compensation, be aware that there is a time limit for civil litigation. Your legal advisor can answer any questions that you might have about your rights to sue a denturist.
HOW WILL THE COMMITTEE DEAL WITH MY COMPLAINT?
There are a number of options available to the Committee under the RHPA including:
- Taking no further action regarding the complaint.
- Requiring the denturist to appear before the panel to be cautioned.
- Referring specified allegations of professional misconduct or incompetence to the Discipline Committee.
- Referring the denturist to the Fitness to Practise Committee for Incapacity Proceedings.
- Taking such other action that the panel considers appropriate.
WHAT HAPPENS ONCE A DECISION IS MADE?
Once the panel of the ICRC reaches a decision, both you and the denturist will be sent a copy of the decision.
IS THERE AN APPEAL PROCESS?
In most cases, there is an appeal process available that provides additional protection for both the patient and the denturist. On request of either party, an arms-length provincial board called the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board may review the Committee's decision. The only exception to this right of review is in cases where the Committee has referred the matter to the Discipline Committee for a hearing or to the Fitness to Practise Committee for Incapacity Proceedings.