Health-care complaints have risen 33 percent since last year and include a “troubling” number of grievances from those struggling to access primary care, Ontario’s patient ombudsman says.

Ombudsman Craig Thompson received 4,388 complaints during the 2022-23 year, its highest number of complaints to date.

The majority of complaints, 3,235 of them, came in through the agency’s call centre while the remainder were written complaints, according to the annual report released by his office on Nov. 15.

“What is notable, and troubling, is the significant growth in non-jurisdictional complaints that are mostly related to primary care and echo some all-too-familiar themes: people are having trouble accessing primary care, have limited options for their care, and often have nowhere to turn,” Mr. Thompson wrote, adding that his main function, as ombudsman, is to provide “insight as to what is working and, more importantly, what is not.”

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