When it comes to hospital visits in Sudbury, people are most concerned about care and communication around that care.

CBC News has obtained documentation on the number and type of complaints filed against Health Sciences North. In the past five years, slightly more than 2,800 people have complained to the hospital's patient relations department. The complaint stats were obtained by CBC News through a Freedom of Information request.

Patients concerns covered everything from parking to food, but the majority related to care and interactions with health care providers.

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Joe Pilon, chief operating officer of Sudbury's Health Sciences North.

Joe Pilon, the senior vice-president for Health Sciences North, said he's not surprised by these statistics — given the strain the system is under right now.

"There's no doubt there's tension when you have been waiting 12 hours in the [emergency department] and there doesn't seem to be any light at the end of the tunnel," Pilon said. "I think families want to expect better than that and we want to provide better than that."

Pilon noted the hospital deals with about 300,000 patient visits a year. So, on the whole, he said he thinks staff is doing a good job.

Visits to the hospital are often very emotional, Pilon added. In some cases, the hospital could better respond to those worries, he said.

"Those concerns are the things they value the most and when those don't work well, I would expect them to complain."

A category that was third on the list of complaints was "attitude or courtesy of care provider."

Pilon said "the interaction [patients] have with their healthcare provider, or anyone in the hospital, is one where you need to be aware [of] and sensitive to that emotion and to [a patient’s] need to understand what is going on."

He noted most of the complaints listed in the report came to a satisfactory resolution.

Total Complaints by Category

Category

Total

Accessibility to services

605

Accessibility to building

100

Ambulance

16

Attitude/Courtesy-Care Provider

751

Behaviour Visitor/Patient (Staff complaints)

57

Cancellation/Delay

281

Care/Treatment

1151

Communication

1577

Consent and Capacity issues

46

Dietary

50

Discharge

264

Environment

214

Financial

178

French Language Services

11

Hospital Policy or Practice

240

Lost/Broken items

139

No family physician

16

Outdoor smoking area/sitting area

19

Parking

75

Patient Satisfaction questionnaire

244

Privacy

120

Transfers

237

Grand total

6391