From left, Penticton Seniors’ Drop-in Centre’s president Mignonne Wood, director Liz Hansen, Teri McGrath present their petition to MLA Dan Ashton. The petition advocates for it to become mandatory to report medical errors and a compensation system for patients who experience avoidable errors. (Contributed)

From left, Penticton Seniors’ Drop-in Centre’s president Mignonne Wood, director Liz Hansen, Teri McGrath present their petition to MLA Dan Ashton. The petition advocates for it to become mandatory to report medical errors and a compensation system for patients who experience avoidable errors. (Contributed)

B.C. woman sends fight to reduce preventable medical errors to Victoria

Teri McGrath and South Okanagan senior’s centre members presented 150 signature petition to local MLA

A retired Penticton nurse is one petition closer to helping thousands of patients injured or killed in hospitals by preventable harm and medical errors every year.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Surgical objects left in patients on the rise in Canada, data shows

READ MORE: Penticton woman continues quest against preventable medical errors

Teri McGrath and the Penticton Seniors’ Drop-in Centre’s president Mignonne Wood and director Liz Hansen collected 150 signatures demanding medical reform and compensation for errors that result in blood clots, infections, childbirth trauma, and damage from medical instruments left behind in surgical patients. They presented the petition to MLA Dan Ashton on Nov. 8.

READ MORE: MPs hear retired Penticton nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

According to the petition, one in 18 patients experience preventable harm and very few of them ever get any type of compensation. The petition also says there is no mandatory reporting of errors that can be used to educate and change procedures.

“Lots of people don’t know what’s going on. But people are starting to talk about it and want something done but nobody really knows about no-fault compensation and how hard it is to get compensated when a preventable medical error happens,” she said.

McGrath says if the province implements a no-fault system that supports victims of preventable medical errors, along with mandatory reporting of them, it would be easierto research and find solutions to the problem, which, according to the Toronto-based University Health Network (UHN), killed as many as 30,277 Canadians in acute care in 2014.

“Most people just want answers and changes made to prevent these errors from happening again, not a blame and shame court case,” she added.

McGrath’s latest plea comes in the wake of a new Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) report that says avoidable complications are 90 per cent more likely in Canada on average than in other OECD countries.

The CIHI also says more than 550 foreign objects, such as instruments and sponges, were left in patients after surgery — a 14 per cent increase in the past five years and more than twice the average rateof other reporting countries.

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

Right now, McGrath says governmental reporting of avoidable injuries is unreliable at best. For example, when she began researching the topic, she filed an access-to-information request to Health Canada that stated only 154 people died in 2017. But, the UHN and CIHI, two reputable organizations, estimate the number to be between about 28,000 to 30,000 a year.

She is also urgently pressing the B.C. Standing Committee on Health to convene on the issue and come up with a solution.

Ultimately, she feels that change will come from Canadians demanding it.

“I believe personally that the court of public opinion is what is going to change things and that’s what the petitions are. I believe that in my heart,” she said.


 

@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Leah Davis, store manager at Oscar & Libby’s in downtown Victoria, sets out stock at their Fort Street location. The pandemic has changed the way this retailer and others do business, says owner Teri Hustins. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Pandemic alters holiday business strategies for Victoria merchants

Many independent merchants count on holiday shopping to get them through quiet periods

The old home at 785 Island Rd. is coming down as the developer was unable to find a feasible business case to save it. (Black Press Media File Photo)
With no takers to move old Oak Bay home, teardown begins

‘We tried a last hurrah,’ developer says

Goldstream Food Bank vice-president Walter Dubeau is happy to help others by volunteering at the food bank’s Christmas hamper program. (Rick Stiebel/News Staff)
Goldstream Food Bank Christmas Hamper program in full swing

Gratitude evident as hamper helpers happily give back

The Vancouver Island Crisis Society has seen a five per cent rise in call volumes compared to this time last year. (Black Press Media file photo)
Winter blues a concern for Vancouver Islanders during COVID-19 Christmas season

Statistics show British Columbians anticipate worsening mental health

Jason Soukochoff is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, say Victoria police. (Courtesy VicPD)
Victoria police seek man with violent criminal history against elderly

Jason Soukochoff wanted on Canada-wide warrant for parole violations

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 24

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Haven Daley)
POLL: Do you think the current COVID-19 restrictions should continue beyond Dec. 7?

One week into the new restrictions to curtail the spread of the… Continue reading

The COVID-19 test centre at Peace Arch Hospital is located on the building’s south side. (Tracy Holmes photo)
B.C. woman calls for consistency in COVID-19 post-test messaging

‘Could we just get one thing straight?’ asks Surrey’s Deb Antifaev

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

An excavator was stolen from a rural property south of Nanaimo this month, say police. (Photos submitted)
Excavator stolen from property south of Nanaimo

Bobcat Mini believed to have been stolen between Nov. 12-14, say RCMP

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

Most Read