The Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA) is governed by The Veterinary Medical Act and has the duty and authority to investigate complaints about veterinarians and veterinarian technologists in the province of Manitoba. One of the provisions in the Act is the establishment of a Peer Review Committee (PRC) to receive and adjudicate complaints against MVMA members. The MVMA’s complaint process follows the framework set out by The Act and is driven by the PRC who provides direction and decides how each complaint will be resolved.
The MVMA reviews/investigates allegations regarding the conduct or competence of veterinarians and veterinarian technologists. If an investigation raises concerns about a an MVMA member’s conduct or competency, the MVMA takes a remedial and collaborative approach to resolving those concerns. Our mandate is to regulate the practice of veterinary medicine in Manitoba to ensure that the public and animals are served by a competent and ethical standard of practice.
Before you submit a complaint
The MVMA encourages you to try to resolve any issues or concerns you may have directly with your veterinarian, as many can be simple misunderstandings or miscommunications. Many concerns relate to misunderstandings that can be resolved by clear and forthright communication. As well, when dealing with a major animal health issue, obtaining a second opinion may give you a different perspective or additional helpful information and added comfort regarding your questions.
How to submit a complaint
If you have a concern you feel may need to be resolved through the complaints process, please telephone the MVMA Deputy Registrar at 204-832-1276 extension 2. The Deputy Registrar will provide you with a fillable form to complete and submit to the MVMA. The MVMA will not accept verbal or anonymous complaints.
How your complaint will be handled
Once the written complaint is received by the MVMA, the investigation and resolution process are as follows:
- If your complaint contains all the required information, the Peer Review Committee Chair assigns the complaint to a complaints committee. The complaints committee will consist of two MVMA members and one lay person not connected with the veterinary profession.
- The MVMA member(s) you are complaining against is asked to respond to the concern and provide all medical records related to the animal. They are provided with a copy of your complaint.
- If any other veterinarians examined the animal or were involved in the case, they will be asked to provide any medical records and commentary the complaints committee deems relevant.
- The complaints committee will investigate the complaint, including accessing outside opinion where needed.
- If the complaints committee finds the MVMA member to be in breach of the Act or MVMA, by-laws, or Code of Ethics, it will take disciplinary action. Please note that the Veterinary Medical Act specifies the types of disciplinary actions available to the committee. It does not permit the ordering of refunds or financial awards.
- You will be given a written decision letter of the complaints committee’s findings including an explanation of their reasons.
For a helpful infographic of the MVMA complaint process, please click here.
The entire process takes on average three to eight months from the time the written complaint is received. In some instances, this timeline may take longer.
What the MVMA is unable to do
There are certain concerns that the MVMA is unable to address as they are not within our jurisdiction. If you submit a complaint, the MVMA is not able to:
- pay money to a complainant or award damages
- order a veterinarian to provide reimbursement or pay any amount of money to a complainant or other veterinarian
- order a veterinarian to provide or pay for treatment for your animal
- provide medical advice or treatment
- refer you to a new veterinarian
- give legal advice or assist you in legal proceedings against a veterinarian
- address business disputes between veterinarians.