Yesterday, November 29, 2010 was a landmark day for patient rights. Mark your calendars.
And read more in the SUDBURY STAR!
We now have access to "quality of care information" from hospitals!
The Ontario public just won the battle for hospital records, against the medical lobby and the government who were trying to keep them hidden, because of a solitary MPP and a growing number of citizens behind her.
The Liberal government and Tory opposition quietly put forward amendments on Friday to Bill 122 (an act to improve accountability and transparency) on behalf of a hospital insurance company, the Ontario Hospital Association and the Ontario Medical Association.
The amendments, struck down on Monday, were designed to prevent the public from accessing any information from hospitals related to "quality of care" - everything from infection statistics not already released, to details about wait times, and the number of medical errors during surgery.
France Gelinas, NDP health critic, single-handedly refused her unanimous support to let them debate the Liberal amendment, because of lack of public consultation.
|France Gelinas, MPP for Sudbury, Ontario|
She was able to stop the amendment because of pressure from constituents, patients (including ImPatient for Change), the Ontario Health Coalition, the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, the service employees union, and members of the media who spoke out in the public interest.
Today is a great day for democracy and for a new kind of patient safety culture which includes patients. Patient rights are human rights and what is in the interest of patients is also in the public interest.
Transparency is the first step to fixing our healthcare system. Now that we can find out what is going on, we can identify problems, find solutions, and put pressure on the government to implement them.
When some issues have come to light - like C. difficil, Hep C, and issues around hand-washing and hygiene, we wrote, we pushed and we got some results. Now we can expand this effort - those problems are the tip of the iceberg.
The bill, minus these amendments, will now go back to the house for third reading.
UPDATE: Bill 122 received Royal Assent on December 2, 2010.