Sunday, November 19th, 2017

Stories highlighting patient safety problems in the Canadian health care system appear in daily news reports across our country. The list includes misdiagnosis, drug, lab and surgical errors, dirty hands and dirty instruments, medical charting errors and omissions, unsupervised medical residents, and poor care management. More hospitals are now using checklists in pre-surgery, post-surgery and intensive care […]

Patient safety is a hot topic in Canada and one that often leaves our politicians scrambling to maintain some semblance of action. They do so by creating more federal, provincial and territorial agencies and programs. Many of these government-funded initiatives are set-up as independent (arm’s length) non-profit organizations. Perhaps the biggest endeavour to date is […]

Are you curious about what happens to survivors of adverse events in the Canadian health care system? Some focus on the future trying to leave what happened to them in the past so that they can adjust to their new sense of normalcy and once again begin enjoying their life. Others become determined to drive […]

In the eleventh hour on Sunday, November 29th, 2009 Lyall’s waiting comes to an end. Less than three weeks after his appointment with the Oncologists he succumbs to esophageal cancer. No more pain and suffering, no more medications, nebulizer or oxygen. No more waiting on any lists for health care. Only a few days before, my […]

In June 2009, we visit my in-laws on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. They are avid golfers who enjoy playing the game daily. So my husband and I don’t think much about it when his father Lyall is experiencing indigestion and has trouble swallowing his food. He tells us that his doctor is treating him […]

You don’t have to travel far to see signs illustrating some of the problems within our current Canadian health care system. Here are two signs in my community. It has been said that “a picture is worth a thousand words”. These may be worth more…

Many Canadians think that our health care system, more affectionately known as Medicare, is a fair system. This is supported by the belief that a government-run health care system serves the “public good” by allotting medical care based on “need” rather than “ability to pay”. In theory, a health care system serving the collective “public good” sounds […]

When I think about people who inspire me in the Canadian health care system I remember the stories of patients who have suffered much and yet were determined to use their experiences to help make some area of our system better. I think about doctors, nurses and other health care providers who have performed medical […]

What is preventing the necessary changes for improving the Canadian health care system? It is fear. Patients are afraid to speak out for fear of being denied access to care. Health care providers fear losing their jobs or being professionally ostracized. Health care policy-makers and decision-makers are afraid of losing their political power. This fear […]

In June 2006, I survived an adverse event in a hospital while giving birth to my daughter. In the weeks that followed my condition continued to deteriorate. A lack of accessibility and accountability in the Canadian health care system forced me to become my own patient advocate. Thanks to the internet, I was able find […]



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