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Healthcare services can only improve by listening to and learning from you, the customer. If you are not satisfied with a service, you feel improvements could be made or you wish simply to acknowledge a genuinely positive service experience you should in the first instance make contact with the local service involved.

If however, you are still not satisfied you should use the formal complaints procedure which every public healthcare provider should have in place. If you are still dissatisfied, then depending on the nature of your complaint, you may also have a further right of complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman or to the organisation that regulates the particulare healthcare professional.

Freedom of Information

In most circumstances you can access your own personal information routinely from the organisation concerned by requesting it in writing. The Freedom od Information Acts 1997 & 2003 give you a legal right:

  • to seek access to both personal and non-personal (corporate) records helds by a public body (as distinct from private bodies)
  • to have your personal records ammended or deleted where the information is incorrectm incomplete or misleading
  • to seek reasons for decisions of that body that affect you

These rights extend to your own personal records and in specific circumstances, to those of your children and deceased relatives. For more information, contact the public body, e.g. hospital and ask for the FOI Officer.

Data Protection Acts 1988 & 2003

The data protection Act 1988 & 2003 provide somewhat similar rights of access as the FOI Acts, the main difference being that the Data Protection Acts do not apply to records of deceased persons.

If you have any queries or concerns in relation to Data protection or Privacy/Confidentiality, you should contact the hospital/facility concerned and ask for the Data Protection Officer.

Some useful contact points

An Bord Altranias

31/33 Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin 2

Tel: (01) 6398500 Fax: (01) 6753348

Web: http://www.nursingboard.ie


Medical Council of Ireland

Lynn House, Portobello court,

Lower Rathmines Road, Dublin 6

Tel: (01) 4983100 Fax: (01) 4983102

Web: http://www.medicalcouncil.ie


Office of the Ombudsman

18 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2.

Tel: (01) 6785222 Fax: (01) 6610570

Web: http://www.ombudsman.irlgov.ie


The Data Protection Commissioner

3rd Floor, Block 6, Irish Life Centre,

Lower Abbey Street, Dublin 1

Tel: (01) 8748544 Fax: (01) 8745405

Web: http://www.dataprotection.ie


The Irish Patients Association

24 Church Road, Ballybrack, Co. Dublin

Tel: (01) 2722555

Web: http://www.irishpatients.ie


The Office of the Information Comissioner

18 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2.

Tel: (01) 6395689 Fax: (01) 6395674

Web: http://www.oic.gov.ie