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

Red’s Bakery offering homestyle baking in Crawford Bay

Since 2016, Red’s Bakery has offering homestlye baking on Kootenay Lake’s East Shore…

LETTER: Expanding rat population in Creston

To the Editor: On July 10, my wife found a dead rat… Continue reading

Kootenay Lake East Shore events celebrating history, arts and culture

Starbelly Jam, East Shore Community Culture Day and Museum Days celebrating Kotenay Lake life…

UPDATED: RCMP confirm one death in accident

Two motorcycles ran into the back of a vehicle towing a boat trailer on highway near Cranbrook

Annual Columbia Basin Culture tour coming up Aug 10 and 11

There are locations across the region participating

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

Four in custody after armed robbery, suspects linked to other recent crimes

Four people are in custody after Cranbrook RCMP responded to a robbery… Continue reading

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

B.C. man pleads guilty in snake venom death of toddler

Plea comes more than five years after the incident in North Vancouver

Trudeau says Ottawa open to proposals for B.C. refinery as gas prices soar

Prime minister says he knows B.C. residents are struggling and the federal government is open to ideas

Most Read