1. What is a complaint?
A complaint is an expression of disagreement with any situation likely to cause censorship, conflict or dissatisfaction / disgust / divergence, resulting from the contact with any type of service provider.
Complaining is a voluntary act and one of the most important rights granted to users.
2. Against whom can I complain?
It is possible to complaint against any service provider that has costumer service.
In what concerns claims that fall within the framework of ERS assignments, and merely as an illustration, it is possible to complain against:
• Hospitals (public or private);
• Primary Health Care Units;
• Medical Offices;
• Nursing Care facilities;
• Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics;
• Clinical Analysis Laboratory;
• Long-term care facilities.
3. How do I make a complain?
The users of health care services have several alternative forms of complaining against a health care provider:
a) Through the Complaints Book. All the establishments that have costumer service must provide the Complaints Book. They also must clearly display the information concerning it.
In private providers, the user may ask for the Complaints Book (designated as the “Red Book” – “Livro Vermelho”) and raise the matter in it, at the time and place of occurrence. The complaint is registered in the book in triplicate: the triplicate (yellow sheet) stays in the book, the duplicate (blue sheet) must be delivered to the complainant, and the original (red sheet) must be sent by the provider to ERS (the authority responsible for the activity or service for analysis).
In public providers, the user may ask for the Complaints Book (designated as the “Yellow Book” – Livro Amarelo) and raise the matter in it, at the time and place of occurrence, according to the applicable procedure.
b) Users may also submit their complaints in a form into ERS website (the Online Complaints Book) available at https://www.ers.pt/pages/50.
c) Another way to make a complaint is to send a written protest to the service provider, after the time of the occurrence. This allows its elaboration with calmness and clearness and also the adding of all the necessary evidence. In those situations where a user feels aggrieved or unsatisfied or where the provider has failed to fulfill its obligations, it is important to contact the person / service provider, exposing the situation, asking for a correction and giving it an opportunity to repair the problem. This text can be sent by post, fax or email, and it should contain some sort of sending register and request for a confirmation receipt.
If the complainant wishes regulatory intervention he/she should also send a copy of that letter to ERS.
4. How can I complain to ERS?
Users may also report the matter in a form into ERS website (the online Complaints Book) available at https://www.ers.pt/pages/50.
If the complainant has raised the issue in the Complaints Book available at the service provider, there is also the possibility to send the duplicate (blue sheet), that must be handed to him/her at the time of the occurrence.
If the complainant has sent a formal letter directly to the provider by post, fax or e-mail, it is also possible to address a copy of that document to ERS.
5. What is the ERS Online Complaints Book?
The ERS Online Complaints Book (available at https://www.ers.pt/pages/50) is an alternative means to the traditional Complaints Book, available at healthcare providers, which enables all citizens, with internet access, to complain.