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

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

VIDEO: Saanich police tackle man who refused to move off Trans-Canada Highway

At this point, it is unclear why the man refused to move

Three people facing mischief charges after protests at Premier John Horgan’s home

Special prosecutor was appointed to avoid real or perceived undue influence

Crime stats show a shift in Oak Bay during COVID-19

Thefts from automobiles, marinas up this spring

Suspected thief drops backpack of stolen goods and runs

Oak Bay Police use K9 for suspicious male

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

CVRD testing Shawnigan water after complaints of metallic taste, odour

“This type of problem has come up a number of times in summers in the past”

COVID-19 cases next to nil on Vancouver Island

Only one COVID-19 patient being treated at Island Health’s hospitals

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Andrew Weaver says he was ready to defeat John Horgan government

Independent MLA blasts B.C. Greens over LNG opposition

44% fewer passengers flew on Canadian airlines in March 2020 than in 2019

COVID-19 pandemic has hit airlines hard as travel remains low

Commercial rent relief applications open as feds encourage landlords to apply

Program would see government cover 50 per cent of the rent

COVID-19: B.C. park reservations surge as campgrounds reopen

Keep trying, many sites not reservable, George Heyman says

B.C. residents can now reserve a provincial campsite for a stay starting June 1

Campsite reservations will only be available to British Columbians

Most Read