Retired nurse Teri McGrath and Liz Hansen from the Penticton Seniors’ Centre hold up the petition they will be sending out to seniors’ centre across B.C. this week. (Robin Grant-Western News Staff)

B.C. woman continues fight against preventable medical errors

Teri McGrath is touring the province with a petition for a ‘no-fault’ medical system

A Penticton woman is taking her fight against life-threatening medical errors and how the Canadian health care system deals with medical malpractice to seniors’ centres across the province.

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

Teri McGrath, a retired nurse who experienced a medical error herself in hospital years ago, is hoping a new petition will make the provincial government take notice of the 30,000-plus people who die because of preventable medical errors each year.

In June, McGrath’s online petition on the Parliament of Canada E-petition website collected 844 signatures, 540 of which were from British Columbia. South Okanagan-West Kootenay MP Richard Cannings presented it to the House of Commons in Ottawa. But because of the upcoming federal election, that petition is now “dead in the water,” McGrath explained.

In the federal government response to the petition, it states the quality and safety of health service delivery is the responsibility of provinces and territories but that the federal government can play a role. It points to a 1990 report that contains “several recommendations for consideration focused on no-fault compensation for medical malpractice.” But, to date, “no province or territory has introduced the system and provincial governments have not raised this issue.”

McGrath said taxpayer dollars are being used against taxpaying patients and families to pay lawyers to defend preventable medical errors causing injuries and deaths, and something needs to be done.

She wants the provincial government to take the lead in implementing no-fault healthcare compensation for medical malpractice in the country.

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

“There’s no-fault compensation with ICBC if you are in a car accident,” she said. “It doesn’t matter who caused it. But if you are banged up, you get help. That’s what we are looking for in the Canadian medical system.”

This week, with support from Liz Hansen at the Penticton Seniors’ Centre, McGrath is sending out the paper petition to roughly 38 senior centres across the province.

While she only needs 25 signatures, McGrath is hoping an amount in the hundreds will have a greater impact.

In early November, she plans to hand the signed petitions over to Liberal MLA Dan Ashton so he can bring the cause to the provincial legislature.

“We’re going to have a patient who has experienced a medical error and we’re going to hand it directly to Ashton,” she said. “This is non-partisan. This is not a specific Liberal or NDP issue. We’re hoping others will do the same thing with their petitions. The more MLAs who have this in their hand, I think the greater the impact.”

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


@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

CN suspending service between Williams Lake and Squamish, effective April 3

Rail traffic north of Williams Lake will be routed to Vancouver through Prince George and Kamloops

COVID-19: Interior Health orders closure of all fitness centres until May 30

The order is subject to revision, cancellation, or extension

Cache Creek council makes decision to close pool for 2020 season

Effects of COVID-19 pandemic and delinquent taxes two factors in decision

Q&A: Interior Health CEO answers questions on COVID-19 response

Susan Brown, president and CEO of Interior Health, answers questions regarding COVID-19

VIDEO: ‘Used gloves and masks go in the garbage,’ says irked B.C. mayor

Health officials have said single-use gloves won’t do much to curb the spread of COVID-19

General exposure to public low after inmate tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The Okanagan Correctional Centre inmate is receiving appropriate care

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Black Press Media ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

Don’t stop going to the doctor, just do it virtually: B.C. association

Doctors encourage patients to access telephone, online visits

Businesses advised to prepare for federal, B.C. COVID-19 assistance

Canada Revenue Agency portal expected to open next week

Most Read