A petition started by a Penticton woman calling for a no-fault compensation program for victims of medical errors has gained enough signatures to be presented in the House of Commons later this month by MP Richard Cannings.
Years of research by retired nurse Teri McGrath determined there were an estimated 30,000 people affected by medial errors in Canada in 2014.
McGrath also discovered the publicly funded Medical Services Commission, which manages B.C.’s Medical Services Plan, gave $51 million to the Canadian Medical Protective Association Rebate Program in 2017-18. The CMPA protects doctors in the case of medical error.
McGrath is suggesting that money would be better spent on a no-fault compensation program to spare patients and doctors the time, expense and pain of going through the court system.
“This is about all Canadians,” she said. “And to err is human, and we’ve all made mistakes, but people should be compensated.”
When McGrath’s story first ran in The Herald in mid-April, she was pushing to reach the 500-signature mark so her petition could be brought forward at the House of Commons.
As of this week, the petition had already garnered 800 signatures, most of which have come from B.C.
“It’s a rewarding feeling,” said McGrath. “I’m watching and checking in on the petition almost every hour to see what’s happening.”
Her goal is 1,000 signatures.
McGrath plans on livestreaming Cannings’ presentation, and hopes the reaction will spark a national inquiry.
“The word is going to be out, and every politician sitting there is going to know about it,” she said.
“If we had a national inquiry, it’s non-partisan and it would be a lot more objective.”