What is the health sector ombud and how does it work?

24 Jan 2017

PBM

The health sector ombud is an independent body established in terms of the National Health Amendment Act of 2013 and is located within the Office of Health Standards Compliance (OHSC).

The Minister of Heath appointed Professor Malegapuru William Makgoba as the first Health Ombud since 1 June 2016.

Its mandate is to consider, investigate and dispose complaints from the public related to breaches of norms and standards of both public or private healthcare establishments. The Office also ensures that the healthcare users complaint is heard, investigated and redressed in a fair, economical and expeditious manner. The National Health Amendment Act of 2013 specifies that:

  • The Health Ombud must operate fairly and deal with complaints swiftly.
  • The Health Ombud must report his findings and recommendations to the person who laid the complaint and the health establishment concerned.
  • The Health Ombud must make a recommendation for action at the end of every investigation and the CEO of the OHSC must ensure that this recommendation is carried out.

The Act directs the Health Ombud to perform his functions “in good faith and without fear, favour, bias or prejudice”.

The Act also provides the Health Ombud (and OHSC staff assisting the Ombud) with powers to facilitate thorough investigation. These include:

  • Obtaining affidavits or statements from relevant individuals.
  • Directing any person to appear before him or her and questioning this person.
  • Requiring any person to produce evidence or documentation.

OHSC contact details are as follows:

Toll-Free Number: 080 911 6472

Fax: 086 560 4157

Email: complaints@ohsc.org.za

Post: Private Bag X 21, Arcadia, Pretoria, 0007

Walk-in: OHSC Offices, Medical Research Council Building, 1 Soutpansberg Road, Prinshof, Pretoria

This content was lifted from OHSC website with minor editing

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