Retired nurse Teri McGrath is hoping to draw attention to the large number of medical errors in Canada. (Photo courtesy of Teri McGrath)

Penticton woman hopes to bring attention to high number of medical errors in Canada

Retired nurse requires over 300 signatures for petition with June 13 deadline

A Penticton woman is hoping a petition will bring attention to the large number of life-threatening medical errors in Canada and result in changes.

Retired nurse Teri McGrath’s bad experience at the Penticton Regional Hospital in 2014 spurred her research, which includes access-to-information requests, media reports and medical studies, into how many medical mistakes like hers happen in Canada — the results astonished her.

READ MORE: ‘Medicare for All’s’ rich benefits ‘leapfrog’ other nations

“The bottom line is 30,000 people plus die every year from medical errors in Canada,” she said. “It is the third leading cause of death over cars accidents and opioids. The first is heart, the second is cancer and the third is medical errors.”

That number is according to the Toronto-based University Health Network which also says the cost to Canadians for preventable medical harm in acute care is $396 million every year.

McGrath’s petition currently has 187 signatures and she needs 500 before it can go in front of the House of Commons. The deadline is June 13.

She said she also learned that the publicly funded Medical Services Commission, which manages B.C.’s Medical Services Plan, gave $51 million to the Canadian Medical Protective Association Rebate Program in 2017 and 2018. The money is used to help defend doctors against medical errors.

All this means that taxpayer dollars are being used against taxpaying patients and families to pay lawyers to defend preventable medical errors causing injuries and deaths, McGrath said.

READ MORE: Man wins $888,000 from B.C. doctor for medication error that left him ‘totally disabled’

The most recent statistics McGrath points to show that only two per cent of 4,000 lawsuits had verdicts for the victim, which means patients who experience these tragedies, in most case, get nothing.

“That would be like being in a car accident and never getting any compensation for it, even though it was the other guy’s fault and you’re dead or you can’t walk anymore. You get compensation from a car accident but when it is a medical error, you get nothing,” she said.

Seven progressive countries successfully use no fault health care compensation to support patients who have been injured or die due to preventable medical errors, she said.

“I’m trying to get changes,” she said. “I tried to get this issue on the Standing Committee on Health and didn’t get a response. They wouldn’t even answer. But I am determined to get on that committee.”

The petition is available online.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Winter Solstice is coming, to Penhenge on Dec. 21

The annual gathering at the top of Munson Mountain celebrates the longest night of the year.

Vee’s go one-and-one in weekend games against Vernon

The Vees took a 0-2 loss on Friday in Vernon and came back to Penticton for a 4-1 win on Saturday.

Old Christmas card has ties to Summerland agriculture

Card was sent by former director of Summerland Research Station

Auntie Says: Be thoughtful of others around this time of year

Christmas and holidays in general can serve as painful reminders of loss for some

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

RCMP officer volunteers as designated driver

Princeton’s two largest employers ensure safe rides for Christmas parties

Pacioretty scores 2, Golden Knights top Canucks 6-3

Vegas goalie Fleury gets win No. 452

In Photos: CP Rail Holiday Train lights up the Shuswap

The stop on the train’s Canada-wide journey came with a $5,500 donation to local food bank.

Penticton Vees earn split with Vernon Vipers

Vees victorious 4-1 at home in back end of home-and-home series

B.C. VIEWS: Hunger does not end with the season

Despite innovations in food distribution, the need is still there in B.C. communities

Kelowna RCMP officer suspended after allegedly sexting assault victim

RCMP confirm investigation but hold back details

Legendary primatologist coming to Okanagan

Dame Jane Goodall, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, will present in Vernon Tuesday, March 24

Frosty will have to pay rent to stay on Okanagan sidewalk next Christmas

Vernon Teach and Learn allowed to keep Frosty up, but will need a permit come January 1

Most Read