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 Definition A form of alternative dispute resolution. The parties negotiate with the help of an independent person. The aim is to sort out the dispute by agreement. .

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.

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 Definition The time and place at which VCAT hears the parties argue their case and makes a decision. fees.

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 free or low-cost legal services that may be able to assist you.

Need help with your application?

VCAT cannot give you legal advice. Seek legal help if you are unsure about your legal options. The following services may be able to help 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. For more about applying for confidentiality.

Legislation that applies to this type of case

Health Records Act 2001