Complaints Regarding a Regulated Health Professional

Although the Regulated Health Professions Network does not investigate complaints about health professionals, we appreciate that voicing your concerns about your care is a daunting decision to make, especially when you are unsure whom to approach.

The Nova Scotia Regulated Health Professions Network is made up of the 22 regulated health professions in Nova Scotia. Each of them has processes and resource people to help you address your concerns. On their websites, you will find contact information and/or a description of their respective complaint procedures. Generally, you will be asked for the following information:

  • What and when the incident happened
  • Who was involved
  • Where the incident occurred
  • How you were affected

Complaints Regarding Deceptive Advertising of Health Products

For claims related to supposed health products, the federal Food and Drugs Act prohibits false, misleading, or deceptive advertising (which includes any representation by any means). It prohibits two main varieties of advertising:
(1) advertising any food, drug, cosmetic or device to the general public as a treatment, preventative or cure for any disease or condition listed in a Schedule; and
(2) false, misleading or deceptive advertising of a food, drug, cosmetic or device. These prohibitions are not disease-specific and extend to advertising to anyone.

For variety (2) above, there are different standards depending on the type of product. It is likely that many products on offer from unregulated practitioners such as homeopathic remedies, will fall into the category of drug. The Food and Drugs Act prohibits advertising of a drug “in a manner that is false, misleading or deceptive or is likely to create an erroneous impression regarding its character, value, quantity, merit or safety.”

Who to complain to

Health Canada is responsible for enforcing the Food and Drugs Act. In Atlantic Canada, a complaint may be made to the Health Products and Food Branch Inspectorate.

Complaints Regarding Deceptive Advertising of Health Services

For claims related to services, the federal Competition Act prohibits deceptive advertising as well as advertising in the absence of “adequate or proper testing.” The Act provides for a criminal penalty and a civil penalty depending on the advertiser’s intent.

There is a criminal prohibition for knowingly or recklessly making materially false or misleading representations. There are civil prohibitions for false or misleading advertising as well as advertising in the absence of “adequate and proper” testing.

Who to complain to

A complaint may be made to the Competition Bureau.