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medical errors

Dr. Hadiza Bawa-Garba was convicted of manslaughter after a boy died in her care.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.