Health records complaints

If you believe someone has inappropriately handled your health records, such as by inappropriately collecting or disclosing your health information, or you have not been granted access to your health records, you can make an official complaint to the Health Complaints Commissioner. The Health Complaints Commissioner will try to resolve your complaint through conciliation.

If the Health Complaints Commissioner cannot resolve the complaint you can ask them to refer the matter to VCAT.

The Health Complaints Commissioner can refer some complaints to VCAT under this Act. The complaints which can be referred include complaints about acts which amount to an interference with an individual’s privacy such as:

  • complaints about obligations about access to health information
  • about breaches of principles which apply to the handling of health information.

VCAT can also deal with complaints about a failure to provide access to health information.

To apply for a review of decisions by the Health Complaints Commissioner as part of an investigation into a general health service provider, see Health Complaints Act 2016.

Cases we can't help with

We can’t accept:

  • some cases where one party lives in another state or is a Commonwealth government organisation
  • cases heard under federal law instead of Victorian law.

Time limits

You must ask for your complaint to be referred to VCAT within 60 days of receiving notice from the Health Complaints Commissioner.

Before you apply

You cannot make an application directly to VCAT. You must first contact the Health Complaints Commissioner about your complaint. If the Commissioner is unable to resolve the matter, they may then refer the case to VCAT.


There are no application or hearing fees. You may have to pay a fee for other VCAT services.


We can explain the application process and what the form is asking you for. Contact us to get support.

We cannot give you legal advice. This means we cannot tell you what to write in your application or recommend how to get the outcome you want.

Seek legal help if you are unsure about your options or need advice about your claim.

Make an application

The Apply now link will take you to the Office of the Health Complaints Commissioner website.

Do I need a lawyer or professional representative?

You do not need to have legal or other professional representation to appear at VCAT. If you wish to be represented by a lawyer or a professional advocate, usually you must ask for VCAT's permission.

Find legal services that may be able to assist you.

Access and privacy

VCAT hearings and files are usually public.

VCAT has limited authority to restrict who can access cases and files but, in certain circumstances, you can apply for confidentiality.

Legislation that applies to this type of case

Health Records Act 2001

Organisations that may be able to help you

Below are organisations that may be able to help with your case.

Office of the Health Complaints Commissioner

A free and confidential service if you have concerns about a health service provider or your health privacy.