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

Just Posted

Sts’ailes drum making coming to Harrison Festival

The workshop has been happening for years, bringing Indigenous teachings to the festival

Transparency, dialogue key to UBC Dairy’s open house

The annual Agassiz event invites the public to come learn about dairy farming and research around it

Fraser-Cascade school district hosts by-election to fill void left by passing of Tom Hendrickson

Advance voting begins on July 17, with general voting on July 27

Big Chill a hot event in Langley

Flight Museum holds “ask the pilot panel” and demos flights for young pilots over the weekend

Search continues for missing elderly woman in Chilliwack

RCMP, Chilliwack Search and Rescue and community members combing area for Grace Baranyk

VIDEO: Agassiz remembers local officer at grave-marking ceremony

Montague White-Fraser had been buried in the Old Cemetery for 92 years without a headstone

UPDATE: Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre shut down during police incident

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

B.C.-wide police efforts identify Vancouver Island robbery suspect

Warrant issued for arrest of North Vancouver man for TD Bank robbery

VIDEO: Wolf spotted swimming ashore on northern Vancouver Island

Island wolf population estimated at under 150 in 2008, says VI-Wilds

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

Garneau ‘disappointed’ in airlines’ move against new passenger bill of rights

New rules codified compensation for lost luggage, overbooked flights

Mercury tops out on top of the world: Alert in Nunavut warmer than Victoria

It’s the latest anomaly in what’s been a long, hot summer across the Arctic

Most Read