Mi’kmaq woman’s death forces Montreal hospital to rethink protocol - APTN NewsAPTN News

Mi’kmaq woman’s death forces Montreal hospital to rethink protocol

Tom Fennario
McGill University Health Centre has released the results of its internal investigation into why a 44-year-old Mi’kmaq woman left the hospital, and later died, after being told she would need to pay for treatment.

Kimberly Gloade of Burnt Church First Nation in New Brunswick left the Montreal hospital Feb. 7 2016 after she was told that treatment would cost more than $1,000 because she didn’t have a health card.

She died six weeks later of heart failure and cirrhosis of the liver.

Due to the passage of time and the amount of registration clerks working that night, the hospital says they were not been able to track down the person who saw Gloade after triage.

Nonetheless, they’ve since implemented changes.

Now every registration clerk must follow the same script when dealing with a patient who has no health card.

“The patient is told, ‘we want you to be seen, and in fact you really think that you’re going to leave, I want you to see the triage nurse again to see if that decision is a safe one,'” said Dr. Ewa Sidorowiez, the hospital’s director of professional services.

Meaning people will only be allowed to leave if their situation isn’t critical.

The investigation was undertaken after a scathing coroner’s report last summer. Coroner Jacques Ramsey said that while Gloade’s cirrhosis was too advanced to be treated, she was denied “the minimal accompaniment that decency requires in the face of death from a society worthy of its name.”

The incident in question happened when Gloade was brought to the hospital by ambulance.

She was suffering from severe stomach pain and had recently had her health card stolen along with her purse.

“They should’ve helped my niece. They should’ve helped my niece, she was very sick,” said Jason Barnaby, a spokesperson for Gloade’s family.

Gloade struggled with addiction, but according to her family was known as “Mama Kim” for always looking after others.

Barnaby provided APTN News photos of the last Christmas he spent with her.

“There was one stocking with a question mark on it. I asked Kim, whose stocking is this? She said ‘for someone that may drop in that has no Christmas’. Touched my heart to see. Kim did not have much but whatever she had, she would be so happy to give,” said Barnaby.

Kimberly Gloade celebrating Christmas before her death. Submitted photo.

He suspects that Gloade was the victim of discrimination, but the hospital says that is not the case.

“In our investigation, I don’t think that was part of the issue at all,” said Sidorowicz, who emphasizes that the hospital deals routinely with people lacking medical coverage and that Gloade was an exception with tragic consequences.

“We certainly extend our sympathies to the family, because this was a very sad event that occurred,” said Sidorowicz.

For his part, Barnaby takes little comfort in the actions taken since Gloade’s death.

“My niece had to die before McGill university implemented these new programs,” said Barnaby, as his voice trembled. “We loved Kim very much, and it still hurts to talk about it.”


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5 Responses to “Mi’kmaq woman’s death forces Montreal hospital to rethink protocol”

  1. parkerbrothers2071@gmail.com'
    mark March 4, 2018 at 11:20 pm #

    Yay, “universal” health care!

  2. Cjdgriffin@gmail.com'
    Colin March 4, 2018 at 7:28 pm #

    This happened to me recently. I needed treatment for an issue with my foot, and did not have my health card, but had my hospital card and private insurance card (imposed on my by the Quebec government, that I have to pay for privately), and was told that wasn’t enough.
    The hospital told me it would be just under $1000.00 to see a doctor and be assessed. Further treatment (x-rays etc..) could bring that UP!
    Health care cards cost nothing to obtain, are we that afraid an illegal alien will come across the border to steal our health care?
    I was told to see the accounts office before I would be treated, to arrange payment, where I learned how much it would cost. Needless to say, I was surprised.
    I asked the intake clerk (post triage) why, and was told that the Province would not pay the HOSPITAL OR DOCTOR without one.
    I was shocked, and left without treatment.

  3. micpaq58@hotmail.com'
    Michel March 4, 2018 at 12:30 pm #

    Seen that mrs Kimberly Gloade died and changes were implemented because of the situation, the government should at least pay for a descent funeral all expenses paid….

    • lol@gmail.com'
      a March 5, 2018 at 3:10 pm #

      i agree

  4. loribabich@gmail.com'
    lori March 4, 2018 at 12:48 am #

    I hope you sue them.