As an independent statutory authority, the office of the South Australian Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner (HCSCC) operates under a number of legislative frameworks.
The primary legislation is the Health and Community Services Complaints Act 2004 (the Act). This Act sets out the legislative framework for HCSCC’s functions and powers.
HCSCC Charter of Health and Community Services Rights
The HCSCC Charter sets out the rights of all people, their families, carers and nominees who use health and community services in South Australia.
The Minister for Health and Ageing tabled the HCSCC Charter of Health and Community Services Rights in the South Australian Parliament on 8 March 2011. On the 23 June 2011, the HCSCC Charter came into effect.
For further information please read – About the HCSCC Charter.
Health and Community Services Advisory Council
The Council consists of members appointed by the Minister for Health and Ageing and includes a diverse membership representing:
- people who use health and community services
- health and community service providers
- health practitioner registration authorities.
The primary functions of the Council are to advise the Minister and the Commissioner in relation to:
- making a complaint about a health or community service
- key strategic issues that arise in relation to the resolution of complaints
- the operation of the Act
- any other matter on which the Minister or Commissioner requests the advice of the Council.
Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009
On 1 July 2010, major changes to the regulation of registered health practitioners came into effect with the commencement of a new national agency, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). AHPRA is governed by the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009 (the national law).
AHPRA is responsible for the registration, accreditation and notifications about individual nationally registered health practitioners in Australia. Please visit their website for further information about AHPRA.
AHPRA and HCSCC notify each other as soon as practicable, and consult about the management of complaints involving a registered health practitioner.
Along with counterparts in each state and territory, HCSCC and AHPRA developed a written document that describes their legal obligations and how they will meet them. For further information please read the AHPRA and Health Complaint Entities – Memorandum of Understanding.
Carers Recognition Act 2005
The South Australian Carers Recognition Act 2005 (the Carers Act) recognises and supports carers and their role in the community. A key part of the Carers Act requires service providers to comply with the South Australian Carers Charter. The Carers Charter requires that:
- carers should be recognised and valued
- the role of carers must be recognised by including carers in the assessment, planning, delivery and review of services that impact on them and their role as a carer
- when decisions are made that impact on carers, the views and needs of carers must be taken into account along with the views, needs and best interests of the people receiving care
- carers need access to a wide range of responsive, affordable services to ensure informed decision making and support for them in their caring situation.
Carers are able to contact HCSCC to discuss any concerns they have about services covered by HCSCC.
Freedom of Information exemption
Under the Freedom of Information (Exempt Agency) Regulations 2008 the Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner is exempt from the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 1991.