How to File a Complaint
The Nova Scotia Osteopathic Association (NSOA) protects the public’s right to safe, effective and ethical manual osteopathic care.
NSOA is responsible for investigating complaints made against manual osteopaths who are its members and, when necessary, disciplining its members who are found to be incompetent or guilty of professional misconduct. Mechanisms also exist for dealing with manual osteopaths who are incapacitated.
If you have a complaint:
If you have a concern, you may contact the NSOA by phone to discuss the matter or write a letter outlining your concerns. Complaints must be filed in writing. Due to privacy concerns, NSOA cannot accept a complaint via e-mail.
Complaints should include:
- Your name and contact information (mailing address and phone number);
- The name of the manual osteopath;
- As much information as possible about your concerns or the incident(s) in question, such as dates and names of individuals who may have been involved or who would be able to provide additional information.
Type of Complaints
Patients or insurers can raise a variety of complaints, including:
- Verbal, physical, psychological, emotional or sexual abuse
- Failing to seek consent for treatment
- Misinformation or lack of information regarding treatment
- Providing unnecessary or excessive treatment
- Incompetent practice causing harm
- Discontinuing needed care without arranging for alternative services
- Giving out information about a patient without consent
- Failing to advise a patient to consult another health care professional when the practitioner knows the patient’s condition is beyond his/her scope of practice or competence
- Failing to advise about the fee structure prior to treatment
- Misleading advertising
The Complaints Process
The Nova Scotia Osteopathic Association (NSOA) has established a framework for dealing with complaints.
A complaint is made to NSOA in writing. NSOA is obliged to give the manual osteopath a copy of the complaint and provide an opportunity for the manual osteopath to respond to the complaint.
It is NSOA responsibility to ensure that a fair and thorough investigation is conducted and that an appropriate decision is made based on the results of the investigation. Before making a decision, the NSOA considers all relevant information obtained during the investigation.
The NSOA issues its decision in writing and may take any of the following actions:
- Refer allegations of professional misconduct or incompetence to the Discipline Committee;
- Require the member to appear before the NSOA to be cautioned;
- Take any other action it considers appropriate that is not inconsistent with the regulations or by-laws of NSOA.
The Discipline Process
The Discipline Committee makes final decisions based on the evidence presented and imposes penalties,including reprimands, fines, suspension of licenses and, in serious cases, revocation of licenses.
The maximum penalty the Discipline Committee may impose is revocation of a licence with no possibility of reinstatement for five years.
Discipline decisions, except for findings of sexual abuse, remain on the public register for six years. Sexual abuse findings remain on the public register permanently.
If a former member moves to another jurisdiction, NSOA will not provide that member with a letter of good standing if there is a discipline finding against him/her.
Patient Relations is an important aspect of what NSOA does. NSOA works towards implementing a pro-active patient relations program that promotes confidence in the manual osteopathy profession. In particular, the Committee is interested in ensuring that members are fully informed regarding the nature of professional relationships, that policy making and complaints processes of NSOA are open and accessible to the public, and that members of the public are fully informed regarding their rights to safe, effective, and ethical manual osteopathy are.
Areas of Responsibility:
- Develop and implement a program to enhance relations between the patient and the member.
- Develop and implement measures for preventing and dealing with sexual abuse of patients.
- Develop standards of practice, policies or guidelines for the conduct of members with their patients.
- Provide information to the Nova Scotia public about their rights.