HCC Case Study: Advice & Explanation





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Published on Apr 29, 2018

The Health Complaints Commissioner (HCC) resolves complaints about healthcare and the handling of health records in Victoria, Australia. See hcc.vic.gov.au for details.

This case study is a real complaint we handled, with names and some details changed for privacy reasons.


Rania complained about the care she’d received at a major hospital and the bill she’d been left with at the end.

During an operation on her neck, Rania went into cardiac arrest and was resuscitated, taken to ICU and had 5 chest x-rays conducted.

After the incident, Rania wanted to complain about the care, if the anaesthetic may have caused the arrest or whether the surgeon had done something wrong, why it was necessary to take 5 separate x-rays in ICU and why she had to pay for the cost of them.


We gave Rania advice on how to break down the complex complaint against the hospital and clarify who each separate issue related to.

We helped her take her complaints to the relevant people to resolve it with them directly, outside of the formal complaint resolution process.


Rania received detailed responses from each practitioner - the anaesthetist, the surgeon and the ICU team - about what had happened during and after the operation and why they had made certain decisions including to take 5 chest x-rays.

The explanations made sense to Rania and addressed her concerns.

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