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Canadians who experience medical harm at the hands of the health-care system they pay for are often chagrined to learn that, if they pursue their legal remedies in court, they are also footing the bill to defend the very physicians they claim have harmed them. Now it seems that Canadian taxpayers have been victimized by this system, too.
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A recent Canadian study for all provinces except Quebec reported that one in 18 hospitalized patients experienced avoidable medical errors in 2014 - 2015. In the U.S., it is estimated that 15 million...
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Health-care cultures that will not acknowledge or admit to medical errors, and therefore fail to learn from them, or permit expressions of resentment and disrespect by care teams (and administrators) to patients and families seeking information are the very antithesis of what patients need and what a caring society should accept.
What if I told you that almost one third of medical care in Canada is unnecessary and that over testing and treatment is on the rise? Doctors across the country are taking note and sounding the alarm on potential risks.
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You expect that casinos are going to be slanted in favour of the house. But you don't imagine those kind of odds when it comes to complaints about hospitals and health-care providers that may have caused avoidable medical or emotional harm.
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While our hospitals save lives every day, they are also the third leading cause of avoidable death every year. In Canada, medical errors and hospital-acquired infections claim between 30,000 and 60,000 lives annually. Thousands more are injured. But to the public, these incidents are largely invisible.
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The sense of disrespect many encounter in their efforts to protect a hospitalized loved one is often compounded by the emotional trauma that comes later with a feeling of abandonment in a sea of unanswered questions.
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A recent report from one of the most respected medical authorities in the world, is yet another jolting reminder that reducing harm to patients and families remains one of the foremost challenges facing our healthcare systems.
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My experience is that patients and families who have been harmed by medical errors in the hospital setting have a lot to offer about what needs to be done to make the system safer. Many are especially articulate about the emotional harm their experience caused.
In Canada, it's not clear to what extent inpatient suicides, or unsuccessful attempts that lead to disability, are considered "never events" by healthcare decision makers, or who is keeping track of them for that matter. The fact is there is a wall of secrecy that surrounds hospital suicide and attempts at self-harm in Canada.
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A new Canadian study shows that age is a critical factor in the kind of treatment patients receive. According to the research, which involved patients with traumatic spinal cord injuries, "patients over 70 years of age experienced considerable delays between admission and surgery."
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Visit any major city in North America and you will quickly discover the link between cash and name recognition in healthcare. Some rich person gives a few million to an urban hospital and their name goes up on a wing. Recently, a generous $3 million donation to Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital was celebrated in a full-page advertisement in Canada's national newspape
the Canadian Medical Protective Association says it is "valued as an essential component of the Canadian healthcare system." But for patients who have experienced injury at the hands of a doctor, this organization looks more like the Darth Vader of the medico-legal system.
In the U.S., the Center for Patient Protection recently reviewed the data top hospital rating organizations provide about hospital safety performance. They cover the smallest community hospitals right up to the biggest teaching facilities, in a format where access to the information is quick and user-friendly. You won't find similar information anywhere in Canada.