Complaints

BC Doctors of Optometry Mediation Protocol

The Mediation Committee has a mandate to assist in resolving complaints registered by patients with regards to monetary or quality of service/customer care issues against member optometrists. In essence, the committee is a liaison to help the parties reach a resolution.

How to Register a Complaint

Before any action can be initiated, you must make the complaint in writing, sign it, and send it by post or email. The letter of complaint must include the following:

  1. Complainant’s name, address, telephone number and/or email address
  2. The name of the optometrist that the complaint is being made against
  3. Clear and concise details/summary of the nature of the complaint
  4. If at all possible, what resolution is expected

Please send complaints to:

BC Doctors of Optometry
610 – 2525 Willow Street
Vancouver, B.C.
Canada V5Z 3N8

Mediation Process

All complaints are treated in a confidential manner.

The committee mediates the following types of complaints:

  • Monetary concerns, i.e., patient is unhappy with his/her glasses or contact lenses and wants a refund.
  • Quality of service/customer care issues, i.e., doctor or staff is rude, provides what is deemed as poor service.

The committee does not mediate the following types of complaints:

  • Malpractice issues
  • Substandard or poor quality standard of care issues
  • Criminal issues

These are handled by the College of Optometrists of British Columbia. You can contact them at:

College of Optometrists of British Columbia
906 – 938 Howe Street
Vancouver, BC V6Z 1N9
E-mail: college@optometrybc.ca
Website: http://www.optometrybc.com/

Tel: 604-623-3464
Fax: 604-623-3465

The following are the steps involved in the mediation process:

  • Association office receives letter of complaint.
  • Association office sends letter to complainant acknowledging receipt.*
  • Association office sends letter of acknowledgement and letter of complaint to the Mediation Committee.
  • Mediation committee reviews the complaint and a committee member is assigned to the case.
  • Copies of the letters of complaint and acknowledgement, and the Mediation Protocol, are sent to the doctor being complained against.
  • The mediator usually contacts the patient first to get a clear understanding of the complaint and how the patient would like to see the matter resolved. The doctor is then contacted and the patient’s concerns and desired outcome is discussed.
  • The doctor makes a decision on how to proceed. Usually the patient is contacted again and the doctor’s position/decision is discussed. Sometimes, the doctor may wish to communicate with the patient directly. This is often the point where the mediation process is terminated.

Resolution

Once a resolution (whether satisfactory to both parties or not) is finalized, the mediator prepares a summary of the mediation case, and a resolution letter to be sent to the complainant.

Not all mediations end with agreement or a satisfactory resolution for both parties.

*If it is determined that the complaint falls under the College’s jurisdiction, the complainant is advised and is directed to the College of Optometrists of BC.