When errors occur within the medical system, health professionals “cover it up,” said Cathy Towtongie, MLA for Rankin Inlet North-Chesterfield Inlet.
“…if somebody dies, they develop a professional curtain and behind that curtain they start discussing,” Towtongie said in the legislative assembly on Oct. 17 while discussing specific concerns that an elderly constituent in Chesterfield Inlet shared with her.
“I would like to ask the minister: do nurses at health centres consider proper care of clients as their first priority?” she asked.
Hickes dismissed the notion that there’s a “veil of secrecy.”
“Whenever there is any type of a death, the coroner’s office has the ability to be able to forward onto health officials if there are any concerns that were raised,” the minister said. “Health officials do chart reviews to make sure that the appropriate level of care was provided. With regard to stakeholders like social workers or outside parties that may be involved in a discussion around a death, it would be very case specific and dependent upon the circumstances, whether there were any factors that might involve (the department of) Family Services into the discussion. There are coroners’ inquests that are done on occasion that bring in different stakeholders.”
As to the question of whether nurses put emphasis on giving proper care, Hickes added that he can’t imagine people going into the health care field unless the care of patients is their first priority.