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)

South Okanagan woman continues quest against preventable medical errors

Teri McGrath is hoping the provincial government in B.C. will act

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, who is a retired nurse and experienced a medical error herself while in the hospital years ago, is hoping a new paper petition she created 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.

Just Posted

Photos from Kelowna’s 39th annual Terry Fox Run

Residents of Kelowna took on cancer in the rain and had a blast.

Kelowna classroom where child allegedly overdosed re-opens after cleaning

An 8-year-old was unresponsive and unable to walk after ingesting an unknown substance at school.

Rockets make cuts to Memorial Cup roster

The Kelowna Rockets re-assigned three players to their respective farm-affiliates on Sunday.

Rockets lose to Blazers in nail-biting shootout

The Rockets came back to tie the game 2-2, but would ultimately lose in a nine-round shootout.

Okanagan brothers recognized with medals of bravery for saving four from drowning in 2013

The two brothers saved four from drowning after they were swept into the rough waters of Wood Lake.

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Federal party leaders address gun violence after weekend shooting near Toronto

One teen was killed and five people injured in the shooting

Video: Rain doesn’t deter Terry Fox runners in Salmon Arm

Dozens showed up to continue the Canadian icon’s marathon of hope.

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

Road block was costly legal battle for Summerland

Resolving Garnet Valley dispute took six years

Most Read