Have you or someone you know been hurt by the Canadian Healthcare System?

You are not alone. Millions of Canadians are affected by medical error
resulting in death or injury during their lifetimes.

We're glad you came here. We invite you to join us as we form an organization which strives
to improve patient safety and enshrine patient rights, because every patient matters.

Join us. Contribute your voice and talents. Make a difference.

Email: impatient4change@gmail.com
Facebook: ImPatient for Change
Twitter: @Right2SafeCare


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Reaching Out to the Stars

"I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars."
- Og Mandino

When we first look at the night sky, we see only darkness. But after we blink, we start to notice the flickering light of the stars. They flicker because we see them through a turbulent atmosphere. And the longer we look, the more of them we see.

So it is with survivors of medical error - we are numerous, but we often feel alone until we find each other, flickering through the turbulence. We are strong and we shine.

Some have been shining for longer, or with more resources, and some are already changing the system.

Here are a couple more Canadian survivor websites worth highlighting:

Empowered Patient Canada

There are other Canadian groups listed through the site advocatedirectory.org, which is a project of Mothers Against Medical Error. We have much to learn from American advocates, who have more experience strengthening the patient voice in dialogue about patient safety.

Many Canadians have tenaciously pursued their own battles for answers, compensation and legislative changes to protect others; not all of them have websites. Many are working in their communities to advocate for their family members and friends, and helping survivors who stumble into their midst. Others have joined together for specific initiatives.

The closer you look, the more people you find.

What unites all these people are some inspiring characteristics: they remain independent of government so they can advocate for the patient interest without conflict*; they are often personally affected (through direct experience or grief); and they are committed to making the Canadian healthcare system better and safer, so that we all benefit.

Rhonda Nixon of Empowered Patient Canada sent me this song as encouragement, and I'm happy to share it with you:

*Independence in Canada can be difficult to maintain. There is little to no funding for patient-led initiatives. Some government grants for specific programs can be helpful, but sometimes these come with strings which contradict the public and patient interest. We must be ever mindful, and continue to push for more independent funding.

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