Half of all patient complaints are about 3% of doctors


complaints-illustrationHalf of all formal patient complaints concern just 3% of doctors, with 1% accounting for a quarter of all complaints, according to research published in BMJ Quality & Safety.

The study in Australia of 19,000 formal patient complaints filed against 11,148 doctors during 2010-2011 found that doctors complained about more than three times are highly likely to be the subject of a further complaint – and often within a couple of years.



The authors argue that the problem is unlikely to be confined to Australia and point out that while regulators often know about these problem doctors, patients usually don’t.

They believe the approach they used to predict complaint risk could be used to spot problem doctors earlier, so improving the quality and safety of patient care.