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

Trudeau has won the most seats — but not a majority. What happens next?

Trudeau will have to deal with some of the implications of Monday’s result

Skeena-Bulkley Valley once again goes NDP

Smithers mayor Taylor Bachrach set to follow in Nathan Cullen’s footsteps

LIVE MAP: Results in Canada’s 2019 federal election

Polls are now closed across the country

ELECTION 2019: Here are the results from our 12 B.C. races to watch

Incumbents mostly won our 12 key races, but there were a few upsets too

Security guard bitten, punched by patient at Terrace hospital

Violent incident one of many in Northwest B.C., nurses union says

Scheer says Canada more divided than ever, as NDP and Bloc hold cards close

While Liberals were shut out of two key prairie provinces, they took two-thirds of the seats in Ontario

Two youth arrested in UBC carjacking at gunpoint, after being spotted in stolen Kia

‘A great deal of credit is due the alert person who called us,’ said North Vancouver Sgt. Peter DeVries

People’s Party of Canada’s anti-immigration views ‘didn’t resonate’ with voters: prof

Party was formed on anti-immigration, climate denying views in 2018

Investor alert: ‘Split games’ pyramid scheme circulating in B.C.

British Columbia Securities Commission issues warning about scheme selling virtual shares

Federal NDP may support B.C. with major projects, Carole James says

SkyTrain Surrey extension, Massey Tunnel need Ottawa’s help

‘Issue-by-issue parliament’: Expert says Liberals need to placate NDP to be effective

Scandals, social issues, racism defined 2019 federal election, SFU prof says

Misconduct investigations spike by 65% across B.C.’s municipal police forces: report

Reports overall up 15 per cent while complaints made by public down seven per cent

‘Wexit’ talk percolates day after Liberals returned to power with minority

An online petition is calling for a western alliance and Alberta to separate

Federal election saw 66% of registered voters hit the polls across Canada

Roughly 18 million people cast their ballots, voting in a Liberal minority government

Most Read