Can I appeal a decision about my mental health?
Question & AnswerCan I appeal a decision about my mental health?
Complain to the IPC
You can complain about your health to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPCO) if, for example, your :
- doesn't give you any information or gives you only some of the information you asked for
- says the records you want don't exist, but you're sure that they do
- refuses to correct your records
- is charging you a fee for your records that's too high
- isn't waiving the fee for your records, even though you can't afford it
In most cases, you have to complain to the IPCO within 6 months of getting your health-care provider's decision. If it's past 6 months, you have to explain why you're complaining after the deadline and the IPCO may accept your complaint if you have a reason. For example, if you couldn't complain because you were in the hospital.
To make an official complaint, you must fill out the IPCO Access/Correction Complaint Form. The form asks you for details such as:
- your name and address
- the name of your health-care provider and their address
- what you're complaining about
- what you've done to try to resolve the issues
You can also add evidence to your complaint, such as letters from your health-care provider.
You don't have to pay a fee to complain to the IPCO.
A lawyer can help you with your complaint.
Once you submit your form, there are 3 main steps in an IPCO complaint:
- Gather information: The IPCO talks to you and your health-care provider separately to understand the situation.
- Mediation: You, your health-care provider, and an IPCO mediator meet to see if you can agree on how to resolve your complaint. This is sometimes called a “settlement”.
- Adjudication: If you don't agree, an adjudicator decides your complaint. An adjudicator is like a judge. They listen to you and to your health-care provider and look at all the evidence before making a decision.
After the adjudication, if you're not satisfied with the decision, you can ask for a “judicial review”. This is where a court looks into your case.
Going to court is complicated. You can talk to a lawyer who can help you figure out if going to court is an option and if it will be helpful. They can also help you with the court process.