Complaint Unit

  • 401-222-5200

Food Complaints


After-Hours Emergency Number

  • 401-272-5952


The public can file complaints with the Department of Health against licensed healthcare professionals, healthcare facilities, restaurants or other licensees. The public can also file a smoking complaint. The Department take complaints seriously and will investigate and take appropriate action against individuals or facilities that do not comply with Department standards.

What you should do

If you believe that any licensed healthcare professional has acted unprofessionally, you may file a complaint online. Search the License Verification site for the professional or facility/organization by name. When you find the licensee there will be a link to submit a complaint. Follow that link to file your complaint. If you believe you have gotten food-borne illness at a restaurant you should contact the Office of Food Protection. more

What you should know about filing a complaint

  • Please be advised that once the Department is in receipt of a complaint, we will move forward with our established process and the complaint cannot be rescinded.
  • If an investigation is begun, the facility or professional named in the complaint will be notified and provided with an unedited copy of your complaint (unless otherwise directed). They will also be asked to respond to the allegations within a specified time period.
  • The investigative process may be lengthy, as medical records and other information may need to be subpoenaed.
  • By law, all aspects of the investigation are kept strictly confidential.
  • As part of the fact-finding process, you may be requested to appear and/or to give testimony at an Administrative Hearing.

Complaints about

Healthcare Professionals and Facilities

The Department of Health and its associated professional boards investigate reports of unprofessional conduct by licensed professionals and healthcare facilities. Each license type has different standards for unprofessional conduct, examples of which can be found in the state laws specific to each profession. Generally, unprofessional conduct includes behavior that is abusive, negligent, or knowingly wrong. Patients and caregivers may file health and safety complaints against licensed healthcare facilities or agencies, such as hospitals and nursing homes. Examples of complaints that may be filed include accidents, environmental hazards, inadequate staffing, poor quality of care, poor dental or pharmacy services, or cold food.


While restaurants are not healthcare facilities, they are required to prepare food in a safe manner. If you think that you have gotten sick from food from a restaurant please contact us. The Department of Health also enforces smoke-free regulations for all food establishments in the state. After-Hours Emergency Number 401-272-5952

The Department of Health

If you have problems or questions about the Department of Health please contact us.

Health Plans

You may file a written complaint against a health plan if you are not satisfied with access to covered services, quality of care, or delivery of care. We will investigate your complaint or refer you to the appropriate state agency, if the issue is not within our jurisdiction. We do not have the authority to overturn denials or appeals. You may, however, contact us to verify the appeals process if a health plan denies you a covered, medically-necessary service. If the denied service is a state-mandated benefit, please contact the Insurance Division of the Department of Business Regulation.

Smoking in Public

You may file a written complaint about smoking in a non-smoking area. If you have a question or problem with smoking or exposure to second hand smoke please contact us at The Rhode Island Department of Health's Tobacco Control Program.