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Patient & Public Help Centre

Do you have a question or concern about an Ontario physician? Get in touch.

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The CPSO Patient and Public Help Centre is here to advise the public about a variety of issues regarding their health care experience. Our primary role is to assist you regarding concerns about the care you received by an Ontario physician, including inadequate care, unprofessional and/or inappropriate conduct and sexual abuse.

With the support of an audio interpretation service, patients calling CPSO can connect with an interpreter in one of 240 languages. The interpreter can facilitate communication, and ensure any questions or concerns are accurately presented.

How we can help:

  • Communication issues with your doctor or staff.
  • Filing a complaint — if you’ve received inadequate care or experienced poor/unprofessional conduct or sexual abuse by an Ontario doctor, get information on how to file a formal complaint.
  • CPSO website — navigating the site and finding specific information.
  • Information about other health-care organizations in Ontario.

What we can’t do:

  • Finding a doctor — This is a service provided by Health Care Connect, a service created by the Ontario Minsitry of Health to help Ontarians without a family health care provider find one. They can be reached at 1-800-445-1822.
  • Intervene in your health care or order a doctor to take a specific course with your treatment.
  • Address system or non-physician issues — concerns or frustrations regarding the health system, hospital system or other health care professionals are outside CPSO’s role as physician regulators.
    • This includes wait times for surgeries, specialty care, access to care, non-physician members of a health care team, etc.
  • Make referrals or arrange for specific types of health care.
  • Award financial damages under any circumstances.
  • Provide emergency services — if you have an emergency, please call 911.

Infographic describing the Patient Help Centre and the questions they can and cannot answer

  • How to contact us

    Telephone

    416-967-2603
    Toll Free: 1-800-268-7096 Ext. 603

    Hours of operation

    Monday – Friday
    8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

    Address

    College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario
    80 College Street,
    Toronto, ON
    M5G 2E2 Canada

    Email

    [email protected]
    When emailing, please provide a phone number at which you can be reached so we can best assist you and address your concerns.

    With the support of translation services, our Patient Help Centre is available in more than 240 languages.

    Frequent questions we get:

    • Can my doctor charge me to transfer my medical records? Yes, physicians may charge patients a reasonable fee for making a record of personal health information, or part of it, available. See our Medical Records policy for details.
    • Can a doctor screen me before accepting me as a new patient? No. Doctors must use a first-come first-served approach when accepting new patients into their practices and are not allowed to cherry pick or discriminate against prospective patients. See our Accepting New Patients policy for details.
    • Can a doctor decide to end the physician-patient relationship with me? Yes, but in each case they must make reasonable efforts to resolve any situation affecting their ability to provide you care, and only consider ending the relationship where those efforts have been unsuccessful. See our Ending the Physician-Patient Relationship policy for details.
    • In what circumstances are doctors required to report or disclose information about me to authorities? There are numerous situations that would require a doctor to report an event or health condition to a specific agency or authority. These include child abuse or neglect, impaired driving ability, or if you have certain communicable diseases. See our Mandatory and Permissive Reporting policy for details.

Other resources you can reach out to:

  • Patient experience representative at the hospital where you or your loved one received care.
  • Family Health Team administration where your physician practices
  • Ontario Patient Ombudsman role is to respond to and help resolve complaints from current or former patients or their caregivers about their care or experiences with public hospitals, long-term care homes, and home and community care support service organizations.
  • Office of the Chief Coroner may be able to help with concerns regarding Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID).

Code of conduct

We are committed to communicating with you in a respectful, professional and civil manner. We expect the same courtesy from you.

We understand that your circumstances may be stressful. However, we will not accept abusive behaviour towards our staff, including threats, vexatious or intimidating conduct, sexual harassment, yelling or screaming, or obscene, racist or discriminatory statements.

The law requires the CPSO to protect its staff from abusive behaviour. Repeated conduct of this kind may result in the CPSO communicating with you only in writing or otherwise restricting future communications with you.