NDP MP Richard Cannings presented Penticton resident Teri McGrath’s petition on medical errors in Canada to the House of Commons on June 18. (Facebook)

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

A retired nurse living in Penticton has been successful in getting her message about Canada’s high rate of deadly medical errors to the House of Commons in Ottawa.

Teri McGrath started an online petition in March with the hopes of drawing attention to the issue and what she considers an unfair system by which patients claim compensation.

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

On Tuesday morning, South Okanagan-West Kootenay NDP MP Richard Cannings presented the petition, which received 844 signatures by its June 13 deadline, to the House of Commons.

Cannings read from McGrath’s research that revealed medical errors kill 30,000 Canadians each year and are the third leading cause of death in the country. The process to obtain compensation for those errors is difficult because millions of taxpayer dollars are used to fight patient claims.

“The only compensation they have is tort law, which ties up our courts and is financially and emotionally devastating. All provincial governments transfer millions of taxpayers dollars to the (Canadian) Medical Protective Association to finance lawyers to fight these claims from patients. Because of this unfair advantage, only two per cent of patient lawsuits are successful,” he said.

The petition asks the government to consider implementing a no-fault system for compensation.

In Canada and a majority of other countries, compensation for medical injury is based on the tort system where the injured patient must take legal action to prove injury, negligence or cause.

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

Under a no-fault compensation system, an expert panel evaluates whether the injury was caused by a preventable medical error. The patient does not have to go to court or prove negligence to be eligible for compensation.

Countries such as New Zealand, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, France and some U.S. states have the system.

McGrath said the petition is just the first step. But she said she is encouraged that the public responded with so many signatures — 540 signatures came from people residing in British Columbia.

“It is now up to the public to take it to the next level. There are several associations and ministries who will get this information and it remains to be seen if they act on any of it. Action is the last step needed to enhance our health care service and will restore compassion, empathy and trust,” she said.

The petition is closed but is available to read online on the Parliament of Canada website.

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


Robin Grant
Reporter, Penticton Western News
Email me or follow me on Twitter
Follow us on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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

Just Posted

Maple Ridge to recognize 2020 grads with light display at Memorial Peace Park and community cheer

Community cheer scheduled for June 20 and light display available all month

LETTER: COVID-19, like other viruses, just needs to run its course

One letter writer comes to defence of another, convinced reaction to virus was overblown

Pitt Meadows city council uses new social media use guidelines to speak out against divisive online activity

Hoping abiding by new policy will set a standard for proper decorum online

SHARE: Photo contest spotlights significant seniors

Send in pictures of a Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows senior and you could win

Slow start for in-class instruction across Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Only 18 per cent of elementary students and five per cent of secondary students attend in person

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping The News to continue its mission to provide trusted local news

No need to get out of your car at food truck festival in Abbotsford and Langley

Annual event takes drive-thru approach during COVID-19 pandemic

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

White Rock council considers allowing alcohol in waterfront park

Council mulls business-boosting measures, including picnic benches

Langley woman recalls last words spoken to mother who died of COVID-19 on 88th birthday

Verna Clarke was more than a senior with dementia who died of COVID at Langley Lodge, she was ‘loved’

Federal aid for care home systems needed ahead of second wave, advocates say

Ontario Long Term Care Association calling for more action

B.C. woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Most Read