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Posts Tagged "job"

25Sep

Physicians need to do a better job of protecting patient files: B.C. privacy commissioner

by admin

https://vancouversun.com/


BC Information and Privacy Commissioner Michael McEvoy.


PNG

Doctors’ offices regularly breach patients’ privacy so clinics across B.C. must do more to protect the information in their possession, says a report released Wednesday by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia (OIPC).

The audit and compliance report is based on 22 randomly selected medical clinics where at least five doctors worked. The audit sought to find out whether clinics and their staff are meeting legal obligations under the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA). The act dictates how private organizations collect, use and disclose personal information.

Medical clinics were chosen for the review because of the massive amount of sensitive personal information they collect and because relative to other private sector organizations, physicians’ offices, medical clinics and labs “account for the largest number of complaints and breach files received by the OIPC over the past five years.”

The scope of the review did not entail a physical inspection of electronic medical records systems, patient files storage systems or actual visits to the clinics. Rather, designated staff at the clinics answered questions and provided written material.

Even without a physical inspection of such clinics, the review discovered numerous problems with the way clinics handled patient information. Many lacked a designated privacy officer, put insufficient resources into privacy procedures and failed to stay abreast of technological advances that would help protect information.

The compliance review report says although there’s an inherently strong bond of trust between doctors and patients, the “troubling reality” is that privacy issues occur regularly in the medical field and the privacy commissioner routinely hears complaints about privacy breaches. Such breaches include accidental disclosures by email, files stolen from doctors’ vehicles, and computer systems that are compromised.

“The harms caused by these breaches can be very serious, leaving victims vulnerable to everything from damaged relationships to humiliation, financial loss and more.”

Michael McEvoy, B.C.’s information and privacy commissioner, said the compliance audit focused on medical clinics because of the large volume and sensitivity of the personal information they collect.

“The results show that while some clinics were complying with their obligations, many have work to do when it comes to improving their privacy practices. There is no question about the intense demands medical professionals face. However, respecting and protecting patients’ private information is critically important.

“Doctors and staff at clinics not only owe it to their patients to do their utmost to build and maintain strong privacy programs, but they are also legally obligated to abide by privacy legislation. I hope that the focus of this report underscores the need for clinics to address gaps in how they protect this sensitive personal information and my office’s willingness to assist them in doing so.”

The report has 16 recommendations aimed at helping clinics address the gaps in their privacy management programs, building better policies and safeguards, and ensuring they provide adequate notification about the purposes of collecting personal information online. The report recommends that clinics develop more robust privacy protocols, better responses to breaches, improved monitoring to ensure compliance and prevent breaches, provide more training for staff, and use more caution when collecting and sharing information online.

More to come.

[email protected]

Twitter: @MedicineMatters

13Sep

New Canadians getting opportunity for new job paths

by admin

New Canadians in the Lower Mainland will get training opportunities that build on skills they have, while forging a path to rewarding work.

The government program, with funding of $451,436, will help people feel more included in their communities as they prepare for careers in the public-works sector.

Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society (PICS) will train up to 36 newcomers and immigrants in working for public utilities, building and grounds maintenance, water and waste treatment and fire protection in the Lower Mainland. The program will help new Canadians who have arrived here with similar or transferable skills.

“Working with organizations like PICS is a way to help people build the skills and confidence they need to succeed in the job market and take care of themselves and their families,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “This employment program also supports the goals of TogetherBC, the first provincewide Poverty Reduction Strategy, to reduce the number of people impacted by poverty.”

Rachna Singh, MLA for Surrey-Green Timbers, said, “Finding meaningful employment can be a huge challenge for new Canadians. Creating opportunities for people to maximize their potential and build their careers will help them feel more at home and included in their new communities.”

Participants receive training over three full-time 12-week sessions and four weeks of on-the-job work experience placements. The second group is in progress and participants in the first group have found or are seeking employment. The final group begins Nov. 25, 2019.

“The program aims to engage new Canadians who earned skills and training in their native countries, but whose qualifications do not transfer to Canadian certification,” said Raj Hundal, director of employment programs and planning, PICS. “It’s helping immigrants work in their chosen field and develop skills to acquire the appropriate certifications and best utilize their skills.”

Quick Facts:

  • This project is funded by the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction through the Project-Based Labour Market Training stream of the Community and Employer Partnerships (CEP) program. CEP’s goal is to increase employment and work experience opportunities in communities throughout B.C.
  • About $15 million will be invested in CEP projects around B.C. in 2019-20.

Learn More:

Learn how CEPs are helping local communities: www.workbc.ca/Employment-Services/Community-and-Employer-Partnerships.aspx

Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society: https://pics.bc.ca/

11Sep

‘Everybody deserves a shot’: Job offers more than a paycheque to man with Down syndrome | CBC News

by admin

Brion Kurbis-Edwards knows exactly what he wants to do with the money he makes from his job clearing trays and cleaning tables at the Lonsdale Quay Market.

He wants to see his “favourite superstars” in concert: Nickelback, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry.

Kurbis-Edwards has Down syndrome. And, at 24, this job marks the first time he’s been paid for his work.

Kurbis-Edwards’ complex medical needs and the stigmas associated with his cognitive disability made it difficult for him to find paid work. Paired with his low self-confidence — which sometimes escalates into panic attacks — it was a bumpy road to paid employment.

Until he met with Amanda Meyers.

“I think it’s really important that everyone has a place in the community where they can show their strengths and abilities,” said Meyers, who is Kurbis-Edwards’ employment specialist at WorkBC.

Amanda Meyers provides Brion Kurbis-Edwards with job coaching, teaching him his workplace responsibilities. (CBC News/Tristan Le Rudulier)

Seven months after meeting Meyers, Kurbis-Edwards was hired by the facilities management company Dexterra at Lonsdale Quay.

“Amanda helped me,” said Kurbis-Edwards. “She helped me find my job.”

In Canada, the employment rate for people with disabilities varies greatly depending on the severity of the condition, with 76 per cent of people with mild disabilities finding employment, according to Statistics Canada’s most recent numbers. But that figure drops to 31 per cent if the disability is severe.

The path to employment

When Kurbis-Edwards first met with Meyers, she says he was shy and reserved.

“I think that’s just because he faced a lot of challenges getting into the employment market,” Meyers said.

The first task was to identify what type of settings and work would be a good fit for him. 

That part was easy — he loves football and has a season’s pass for the BC Lions. Now he volunteers with the team, handing out programs. 

“I love the touchdowns,” Kurbis-Edwards said.

Along with his paid job, Brion Kurbis-Edwards also volunteers with the BC Lions. (Submitted by Amanda Meyers)

At the same time, he began trial shifts with Dexterra, where he was eventually hired.

“Now, he’s more confident than ever and his sense of humour is really coming out,” Meyers said.

“That’s what I really love to see, when someone really finds something that’s meaningful for them.”

As part of the job training, Meyers coaches Kurbis-Edwards on-site. She takes him step-by-step through his responsibilities. As he becomes more comfortable and confident, Meyers will “fade out” so he no longer relies on her and can work independently.

She says this helps develop a sense of confidence and belonging.

Inclusive hiring a benefit, not a burden

In today’s digital era, Meyers says the job market presents a number of hurdles for people with disabilities. Most jobs are listed online and followed up by an in-person interview, which, she says, is a process that sets up people with disabilities for failure.

“Our clients are better when they are able to show their abilities,” Meyers said.

Along with the difficulties of the traditional hiring process, she says there’s a stigma surrounding people with disabilities; there’s a preconceived notion that they are a burden for the employer, which she says couldn’t be further from the truth. 

“Inclusive hiring is really beneficial for the employer and the individual. We customize jobs to fill specific needs,” said Meyers, adding that, when it’s a good fit, employees with disabilities tend to stay in their jobs longer.

“Companies don’t have to re-hire and re-train employees every month.”

Tina Hustins, who is Kurbis-Edwards’ boss at Dexterra, agrees.

Brion Kurbis-Edwards jokes around with his boss Tina Hustins as they work at the Lonsdale Quay Market. (CBC News/Tristan Le Rudulier)

She says his hard work, eagerness to learn and happy attitude make him a valuable hire.

“I’m ecstatic that I’m seeing him progress. You’re giving someone a chance to see that they can do what other people do,” said Hustins.

“Everybody deserves a shot.”

28Aug

Pharmacist fights for right to take opioid replacement medication on the job | CBC News

by admin

B.C.’s Human Rights Tribunal will hear the case of a pharmacist who claims restrictions on opioid replacement medication for working healthcare professionals is discriminatory — even though he’s been cleared to re-apply for his licence.

The 16-year pharmacist, who is not named or identified in any way by the tribunal, is now free to return to work following a second opinion from an addictions specialist. It’s unclear if he has applied to do so and he argues his screening process took too long.  

The pharmacist argues there’s no scientific reason to restrict healthcare workers from using medications that curb drug cravings and withdrawal in order to aid addiction recovery.

The 16-year pharmacist, who is not named or identified in any way by the tribunal, was initially denied his license when he tried to return to work two years ago after a voluntary suspension due to an “addiction-related disability” that led to a $1,300-per-week heroin habit.

He wanted to use Suboxone — a medication that curbs opioid cravings — and be allowed to return to his job dealing with high-risk drugs. Doctors and nurses in many U.S. states and Quebec are permitted to take Suboxone, and in some cases methadone, while working.

Suboxone allowed him to live ‘a normal life’

According to an  Aug. 22  tribunal decision, the pharmacist struggled with opioid addiction, including heroin, for several years, then returned to work. But he relapsed in 2015, despite a return-to-work plan that included monitoring. The pharmacist voluntarily suspended his license, returning to in-patient treatment.

He was prescribed Suboxone, a medication used to curb craving for opioids and ultimately taper opioid use, in 2016. The pharmacist reported Suboxone helped him live a normal life.

But when he attempted to return to work in 2017, the addictions specialist who evaluated him determined the pharmacist was not fit for duty in a “safety-sensitive” job — such as a clinical pharmacist who handled opioids — if he continued to take Suboxone. 

The pharmacist who launched the complaint to the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal did get a second opinion when he balked at abstinence as having no scientific basis as successful. That doctor agreed. (Shutterstock / Atstock Productio)

The doctor also recommended he enter a 12-step program, faith-based treatment program that requires abstinence from all drugs. He objected because he is an atheist and claimed the drug-free rule wasn’t based on scientific evidence.

The pharmacist sought a second doctor’s assessment and the college eventually accepted new recommendations in August 2018 which allow him to submit an application to register as a full pharmacist.

The first doctor and the College of Pharmacists of B.C. then requested his human rights complaint be dismissed. But the tribunal ruled Aug. 22 that the hearing will proceed, in part.

‘Hurt and shocked’

In the pharmacist’s initial complaint to the Human Rights Tribunal he argued that he was discriminated against because he was referred to a religious-based treatment program when he’s an atheist, and he wasn’t allowed to return to work unless he stopped using medication needed for his disability.

That precondition prevented his return to work in a “reasonable time frame,” he argued.

The pharmacist said the first doctor who assessed him “demonstrated unfair and offensive stigma and stereotyping of people with addiction issues.”

He described feeling “hurt and shocked” when the assessing doctor asked if a return to work would make him feel “like being a kid in a candy store” since he would be near so many drugs.

Tribunal Member Emily Ohler said she read more than 1,300 page of submissions from all parties before determining a hearing was needed.

Ohler denied the pharmacist’s claim of discrimination based on religion, as the 12-step treatment program was not mandatory. She did order a hearing into the discrimination claim based on mental disability.

In her ruling Ohler cited an expert who confirmed past workplace addictions policies in this province restricted healthcare workers from using drugs like Suboxone, but said that practice needed more study.

In Quebec, doctors overcoming addiction can use methadone. An American study published by the Mayo Clinic in 2012 reported dozens of healthcare worker discipline programs permitting nurses and doctors to return to work while using similar addiction treatments.

Suboxone is a long-acting opioid medication used to replace shorter-acting opioids like heroin, oxycodone, fentanyl or hydromorphone. It can prevent withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings. (Sally Pitt/CBC)

6Jun

Building a dragon boat gives job seekers new carpentry skills

by admin

Fifteen job seekers have gained new boat-building and carpentry skills through a work experience project focused on this year’s Dragon Boat BC Festival in Vancouver.

The province provided $288,643 to Dragon Boat BC to create a dragon boat building program that helped unemployed and at-risk people develop marketable skills in boat building, finishing carpentry and painting. The group created a full-scale dragon boat prototype and a fully finished boat that will compete in the 2019 Concord Pacific Dragon Boat BC Festival from June 21-23, 2019.

“This program brings together skilled workers and people experiencing unemployment looking to add new skills to their resume,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “Dragon Boat BC recognized an opportunity to help people gain work experience and expand community sport participation. It’s these innovative partnerships and a community commitment that help create more opportunities for people in our province.”

Both groups worked closely with a project team led by an aerospace engineer, project manager, professional shipwright, multi-generation canoe carver and paddlers. The teams used high-tech and modern aerospace materials to develop a new high-quality, lightweight and B.C.-built design.

“All of the program participants showed drive and determination,” said Ann Phelps, executive director of Dragon Boat BC. “It isn’t an easy thing to learn a new skill, and everyone who helped us build this boat worked hard to gain transferable experience that will support them in their employment path. The funding gave us the opportunity to introduce people to new skills and a new sport, and build something we can share with the community.”

The boats will be used to support community paddling programs in B.C. to give more people an opportunity to try the sport and become part of a growing community of paddlers.

“I knew that this program would help me build a stronger resume, but I didn’t realize just how much it would change my life,” said Angela Gleeson, program participant. “My time here has grown into a full-time position with Dragon Boat BC and I can say first-hand that other participants, and now friends, have gone on to work in jobs because of the life skills and resume-building work that we accomplished together here.”

Funding for this and other projects is provided through WorkBC’s Community and Employer Partnerships (CEP) program. CEP aims to increase employment opportunities for unemployed British Columbians through partnerships, research and innovative job creation projects.

Quick Facts:

  • Approximately $15 million will be invested in CEP projects throughout B.C. in 2019-20.
  • Since the program began in 2012, more than 381 CEP projects have helped local communities, employers and people looking for work.
  • Job creation partnerships are one of five CEP streams available throughout the province.

Learn More:

Learn about how Community and Employer Partnerships are helping local communities:  www.workbc.ca/Employment-Services/Community-and-Employer-Partnerships.aspx

Job creation partnerships: https://www.workbc.ca/Employment-Services/Community-and-Employer-Partnerships/Job-Creation-Partnerships.aspx

Dragon Boat BC: https://dragonboatbc.ca/

2019 Concord Pacific Dragon Boat BC Festival: https://concorddragonboatfestival.ca/


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8Apr

Job fair breaks down employment barriers for Canadians living with autism

by admin

For people living with autism spectrum disorder, getting a job comes with specific challenges.

“I would always get stymied at the interview stage,” said Katherine Shadwick, who has a bachelor’s degree in geological engineering but struggled to get a foot in the door after graduation.

That’s because Shadwick, who is on the autism spectrum, says she can have trouble connecting with the subtext of what is being said.

“If you tell me one thing and don’t make it very obvious that you’re saying it in a sarcastic manner, for example, I might not pick up on the sarcasm and might take it for face value,” she told Stephen Quinn, the host of CBC’sThe Early Edition.

During a traditional interview, that makes it much more difficult to sell herself to a potential employer and highlight her skills, she added.

“People with autism usually end up being misjudged in a way:  I do have friends, I empathize, I have lots of emotions,” Shadwick said.

“I was just having trouble finding jobs because of that people connection [in the interview].”

Alternative interviews

After partnering with a professional services firm that helps connect people who are on the spectrum with employers and facilitates the interview process, Shadwick found a job as a software tester at Vancity credit union.

“They see if your personality is a good fit, and then they give you some pre-employment classes and additional testing, and then they match you with an employer,” Shadwick said.

“I never did an interview directly with Vancity.”

She’s speaking about her experience — and ways to improve the workplace and jobs market for people with different abilities — at a Spectrum Works job fair in Richmond, B.C., on Monday.  

According to a 2012 Canadian Survey on Disability, adults with autism have the lowest employment rate in Canada at just 14 per cent — compared to the general population at 93 per cent.

“People that are on the spectrum are highly intelligent,” Shadwick said.

“Sometimes, we need more structure and clearer expectations but, once we get something, we get it and we’re good.”

Katherine Shadwick is a software tester and lives with autism spectrum disorder. Heather Linka is neurodiversity employment consultant. The two are speaking with people at the Spectrum Works job fair, to get those with ASD get a job. 8:45

‘Intentional autism hiring’

Heather Linka, a neurodiversity employment consultant and employer coordinator with the job fair, works with people including Shadwick to break down employment barriers in the IT sector.

Adjustments in the hiring process and accommodations in the workplace can be put in place for what she calls “intentional autism hiring.”

“We recommend things like skill-testing questions or a more casual meet-and-greet environment rather than the [traditional] interview,” Linka said.

On the job, accommodations could include things like tailoring the sitting arrangement in open-desk environments or making some sensory adjustments in places with fluorescent lighting.

Clear expectations and communication are key, Linka emphasized.

“Generally, it’s just mindfulness and education on both sides,” she said.


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26Mar

‘Not a job for old people’: Doc series shines spotlight on B.C. paramedics

by admin


A Vancouver paramedic specialist with advanced training tends to a heart failure patient, en route to St. Paul’s Hospital. The scene is in the last episode of a new documentary series on Knowledge Network, Paramedics: Life on the Line. It premieres April 2.


TBA / PNG

After the success of its documentary series on life and death in the emergency room, the Knowledge Network wasted no time commissioning a riveting “prequel” consisting of 10 episodes on paramedics working throughout the Lower Mainland.

The series, which streams online and on television April 2, won’t disappoint those craving insight into the jobs and personalities of 911 call takers, dispatchers and the paramedics who race to scenes in their “moving emergency rooms.”

As many already know, ambulance drivers frequently encounter distracted pedestrians looking down at their cellphones as they cross streets, oblivious to speeding ambulances with lights and sirens, not to mention drivers who take far too long to get out of the way. The producers even made a short video calling attention to bad drivers.

It’s just one exasperating part of the job.

“Threading the needle” is the term one ambulance driver uses to describe the precarious weaving (“c’mon kid, I’m not skiing”) to manoeuvre through traffic. A dash cam installed by the film company partner, Lark Productions, captures the driver’s candid banter with her colleague as she aggressively steps on the gas and quips: “It’s fun driving fast with lights and sirens, let’s be honest.”

Those who’ve opined that such health professionals must be adrenalin junkies thriving on chaos will also observe how calm the call takers and paramedics appear as they’re taking information from people in medical crises and rushing to the scene of gruesome accidents to provide care to those in need.

The series reinforces the understanding that the work takes a huge toll, both physically and emotionally. Post-traumatic stress disorder was the focus of a CBC documentarybut the physical toll, especially on the musculoskeletal system, is also harsh and a common cause of days off work.

“I’ve been doing this for 25 years. I’m hoping to make it to retirement in about six years if my body holds up. It’s no job for old people,” said one paramedic in an episode titled No Occupation for Old Men.

Ironically, there is no mandatory retirement age for paramedics and many work well into their 60s, according to B.C. Emergency Health Services.

British Columbia's first report on road safety recommends a speed limit of 30 kilometres an hour in urban areas to reduce deaths among pedestrians and cyclists.


Knowledge Network shines the spotlight on paramedics.

RICHARD LAM /

Vancouver Sun

They eat on the go, wolfing down a sandwich or an ice cream with one hand while deftly steering ambulances with the other. They use deadpan sarcasm and droll humour to lighten the mood. And they must have good chemistry and trust with their shift partners.

There are only two deaths shown in 10 episodes of the docuseries. The paramedics on the scene of one cardiac arrest try everything to save the male and even call a hospital doctor to verify there’s nothing they’ve missed.

“Death is part of life, we’re all gonna die one day,” a paramedic says as a body is covered with a flannel sheet. It was one of at least 17 calls he had responded to during the 12-hour shift.

Viewers might find themselves frustrated by not knowing what happens to patients, like the East Vancouver woman who encountered a complication during a midwife-assisted water birth at home or the 46-year-old heart failure patient waiting to go on a heart transplant wait list.

That sentiment is often shared by the paramedics themselves, said Erin Haskett, a Lark Productions series executive producer. Many expressed frustration that they often don’t learn the outcomes of their cases after patients are handed off to hospital teams.

The series took 130 days of filming from December 2017 to June 2018. The 10 episodes are each under an hour but 1,500 hours of filming was done, often by crews embedded in ambulances at all hours of the day and night. Patients were asked for consent to film before they were handed off to the hospital and again after.

While rural paramedics were left out because of logistical challenges, about 40 of those working in Vancouver, North Vancouver, Burnaby Richmond and Surrey are featured. There are about 3,800 paramedics with various levels of credentials and 300 dispatch staff working for B.C. Emergency Health Services across the province.

Linda Lupini, executive vice-president of BCEHS, said the agency was reluctant to participate in the series.

“Initially we didn’t want to do this and we actually spent a few years talking to Knowledge Network about our concerns about logistics, about patient privacy, etc. So we hired a legal analyst and a top privacy expert. They came up with a lengthy list of things to ensure everyone met all the requests.”

There are numerous tricks used by the show’s editors to obscure locations and identities. In some cases street signs are even switched in the editing process and passersby who were on foot are shown on bicycles.

Among the incidents included in the series are a sexual assault call, a baby in respiratory distress, a cyclist hit by a car, a truck-bus crash, a fall at a construction site, an overdose at a SkyTrain station and an unconscious restaurant customer.

“I call our health professionals the first-first responders,” said Lupini. “People who watch this series will see their incredible compassion and patience. They often don’t get the recognition they deserve and I think this is a powerful way to showcase that.”

Viewers may be left wondering why anyone would want a job that takes such a toll on the human spirit. Lupini acknowledges she worried, initially, that the authentic conversations paramedics have about their work might deter people from entering the profession.

“In the series, paramedics talk about why they love their jobs but they also speak honestly about the challenges,” she said.

[email protected]

Twitter: @MedicineMatters




Source link

26Mar

“Not a job for old people” — documentary series shines spotlight on paramedics

by admin


A Vancouver paramedic specialist with advanced training tends to a heart failure patient, en route to St. Paul’s Hospital. The scene is in the last episode of a new documentary series on Knowledge Network, Paramedics: Life on the Line. It premieres April 2.


TBA / PNG

After the success of its documentary series on life and death in the emergency room, the Knowledge Network wasted no time commissioning a riveting “prequel” consisting of 10 episodes on paramedics working throughout the Lower Mainland.

The series, which streams online and on television April 2, won’t disappoint those craving insight into the jobs and personalities of 911 call takers, dispatchers and the paramedics who race to scenes in their “moving emergency rooms.”

As many already know, ambulance drivers frequently encounter distracted pedestrians looking down at their cellphones as they cross streets, oblivious to speeding ambulances with lights and sirens, not to mention drivers who take far too long to get out of the way. The producers even made a short video calling attention to bad drivers.

It’s just one exasperating part of the job.

“Threading the needle” is the term one ambulance driver uses to describe the precarious weaving (“c’mon kid, I’m not skiing”) to manoeuvre through traffic. A dash cam installed by the film company partner, Lark Productions, captures the driver’s candid banter with her colleague as she aggressively steps on the gas and quips: “It’s fun driving fast with lights and sirens, let’s be honest.”

Those who’ve opined that such health professionals must be adrenalin junkies thriving on chaos will also observe how calm the call takers and paramedics appear as they’re taking information from people in medical crises and rushing to the scene of gruesome accidents to provide care to those in need.

The series reinforces the understanding that the work takes a huge toll, both physically and emotionally. Post-traumatic stress disorder was the focus of a CBC documentary but the physical toll, especially on the musculoskeletal system, is also harsh and a common cause of days off work.

“I’ve been doing this for 25 years. I’m hoping to make it to retirement in about six years if my body holds up. It’s no job for old people,” said one paramedic in an episode titled No Occupation for Old Men.

Ironically, there is no mandatory retirement age for paramedics and many work well into their 60s, according to B.C. Emergency Health Services.

British Columbia's first report on road safety recommends a speed limit of 30 kilometres an hour in urban areas to reduce deaths among pedestrians and cyclists.


Knowledge Network shines the spotlight on paramedics.

RICHARD LAM /

Vancouver Sun

They eat on the go, wolfing down a sandwich or an ice cream with one hand while deftly steering ambulances with the other. They use deadpan sarcasm and droll humour to lighten the mood. And they must have good chemistry and trust with their shift partners.

There are only two deaths shown in 10 episodes of the docuseries. The paramedics on the scene of one cardiac arrest try everything to save the male and even call a hospital doctor to verify there’s nothing they’ve missed.

“Death is part of life, we’re all gonna die one day,” a paramedic says as a body is covered with a flannel sheet. It was one of at least 17 calls he had responded to during the 12-hour shift.

Viewers might find themselves frustrated by not knowing what happens to patients, like the East Vancouver woman who encountered a complication during a midwife-assisted water birth at home or the 46-year-old heart failure patient waiting to go on a heart transplant wait list.

That sentiment is often shared by the paramedics themselves, said Erin Haskett, a Lark Productions series executive producer. Many expressed frustration that they often don’t learn the outcomes of their cases after patients are handed off to hospital teams.

The series took 130 days of filming from December 2017 to June 2018. The 10 episodes are each under an hour but 1,500 hours of filming was done, often by crews embedded in ambulances at all hours of the day and night. Patients were asked for consent to film before they were handed off to the hospital and again after.

While rural paramedics were left out because of logistical challenges, about 40 of those working in Vancouver, North Vancouver, Burnaby Richmond and Surrey are featured. There are about 3,800 paramedics with various levels of credentials and 300 dispatch staff working for B.C. Emergency Health Services across the province.

Linda Lupini, executive vice-president of BCEHS, said the agency was reluctant to participate in the series.

“Initially we didn’t want to do this and we actually spent a few years talking to Knowledge Network about our concerns about logistics, about patient privacy, etc. So we hired a legal analyst and a top privacy expert. They came up with a lengthy list of things to ensure everyone met all the requests.”

There are numerous tricks used by the show’s editors to obscure locations and identities. In some cases street signs are even switched in the editing process and passersby who were on foot are shown on bicycles.

Among the incidents included in the series are a sexual assault call, a baby in respiratory distress, a cyclist hit by a car, a truck-bus crash, a fall at a construction site, an overdose at a SkyTrain station and an unconscious restaurant customer.

“I call our health professionals the first-first responders,” said Lupini. “People who watch this series will see their incredible compassion and patience. They often don’t get the recognition they deserve and I think this is a powerful way to showcase that.”

Viewers may be left wondering why anyone would want a job that takes such a toll on the human spirit. Lupini acknowledges she worried, initially, that the authentic conversations paramedics have about their work might deter people from entering the profession.

“In the series, paramedics talk about why they love their jobs but they also speak honestly about the challenges,” she said.

[email protected]

Twitter: @MedicineMatters

 




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23Jan

Fake ‘Dr. Lip Job’ gets suspended sentence for posing as a physician

by admin


Justice Nitya Iyer.


Vancouver Sun

A woman who forged a medical licence so she could buy pharmaceuticals like Botox to then inject into duped customers has been given a 30-day suspended sentence and two years’ probation in B.C. Supreme Court.

Rajdeep Kaur Khakh’s digressions included contempt of court and passing herself off as a doctor so she could inject Botox into facial wrinkles and filler material into lips or other facial areas. Only licensed and trained doctors, dentists, registered nurses (or nurse practitioners) under the supervision of doctors, and naturopaths are allowed to perform such procedures under Health Professions Act regulations and Ministry of Health scopes of practice.

Khakh, who couldn’t be reached for comment, was cited for contempt in March 2018; she signed a consent order at the time prohibiting her from “practising medicine.” But last July, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C. learned Khakh was up to her old tricks administering dermal fillers “numerous times at a location in Vancouver.”

The college has been trying to stop Khakh from posing as a doctor for more than three years but each time the college got promises from her to stop, she would continue to do it. For a time, she marketed her services under the Instagram handle “DrLipJob.” She also marketed herself as Dr. Rajii or Dr. R.K., when she injected customers in their homes, cars and other locations.

Although Khakh avoided jail, college spokeswoman Susan Prins expressed satisfaction with the sentence.

“The college … believes that the judge’s reasons will accomplish the task of getting Ms. Khakh to obey and respect court orders in future, and deter other unlicensed practitioners from engaging in unlawful practice. In her comments, Madame Justice (Nitya) Iyer sent a very serious message to Ms. Khakh about breaching consent orders and emphasized the critical public-protection role that regulators fulfil.”

Last November, the college filed a petition with the court in which it sought to have Khakh fined for contempt and/or jailed. Under the current sentence by Iyer, she will have to serve a 30-day jail term if she breaches any of the terms. Khakh must report to a probation supervisor once a week and must also pay a $5,000 fine. Of that amount, $300 is going to go to a former customer who was a witness for the college.

The college first learned of Khakh in 2015 when pharmaceutical companies informed it that she owed $164,000 for products that were advanced on credit. At the time, Khakh was providing services at a spa in Surrey and using a forged medical licence.

“It is certainly the only instance of forging medical credentials to further one’s unlawful practice that I know of,” said the college’s chief legal counsel, Graeme Keirstead.

According to an affidavit filed in court by the college, the forged licence was found on a photocopier at the Clearbrook public library by an employee who notified the college. The name “Dr. Rajdeep Kaur Khakh” was substituted for the original name on the certificate and the expiry date of the licence had been altered.

“Upon review, the document appeared to be a copy of a genuine, but expired, (licence),” Keirstead said, adding that the identification number on the certificate belonged to a practising physician who was registered with the college.

Khakh had previously told a reporter that she went to medical school at the University of Punjab but failed licensing exams.

The college went to great lengths to investigate Khakh, using a security company multiple times for undercover investigations and also going to the spa with a cease-and-desist letter.

The college pursued another similar case, but in that situation a patient got a serious infection after having surgery with a fake doctor in her home-based clinic. A public health warning was issued.

Patients of Khakh’s have complained about their results, but there don’t appear to be any serious adverse events reported.

The college said this in a statement: “Receiving a medical service such as injections from an unlicensed practitioner is risky and has the potential for complications, including reaction to agents, infections or greater harm due to human error. There is no assurance that the practitioner is competent or qualified to provide treatment or that the material and equipment used are safe.”

Prins said unlicensed individuals aren’t accountable to any regulatory body, “which means the public has nowhere to turn if the service or treatment they receive results in complications. We can’t emphasize enough how important it is for patients to check the credentials of the health practitioner they are planning to see to ensure they are licensed and registered with a health regulatory authority (college), and that they have the necessary credentials to perform the procedure.”

Physician credentials can be verified by looking at the directory on the college’s website at cpsbc.ca.

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19Jan

Molly Maid cleaner files human rights complaint after losing job during pregnancy

by admin

A woman who worked as a cleaner for Molly Maid in Metro Vancouver has filed a human rights complaint alleging the company fired her because she needed to attend emergency medical appointments for complications with her pregnancy.

The maid service applied to dismiss the complaint, arguing that it has offered the cleaner, Katelyn Jansen, a reasonable settlement of about $10,500 for damages for injury to dignity and wages lost.

Jansen argued that amount wasn’t enough. She also wants the company to create and implement a policy on pregnant women in the workplace.

The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal recently sided with Jansen and denied the company’s application, paving the way for the case to go forward. 

In an affidavit filed as part of her response to Molly Maid’s application, Jansen said, 15 months later, she still feels hurt by the company’s decision to dismiss her. 

‘Emotionally fragile’

Jansen said the appointments she attended at the time were to find out if her baby would be born with a “serious, life-altering disability.”

“I was in the most emotionally fragile and vulnerable place that I had been in in my life,” she said.

Molly Maid’s lawyer says the company takes issue with some of Jansen’s assertions. The decison notes that the company said it didn’t fire her, but instead assumed she had quit because she hadn’t contacted them for six days. 

West Coast LEAF, a legal organization that supports gender equality, wouldn’t comment on the validity of the complaint but said many employers are still unaware of their obligation to reasonably accommodate pregnant women at work. 

“We do hear quite regularly about challenges for pregnant women to receive proper accommodation in their employment,” said Raji Mangat, the organization’s director of litigation.

“Certainly in a field where many, if not most, of the employees are women, it would seem that the employer ought to have some sort of contingency plan in place.”

Hospital visit

According to the decision, Jansen had to miss work the first time beginning on July 31, 2017. She was 21 and four months pregnant and had been working for the company since February of that year.

In her affidavit, Jansen says she had scheduled an ultrasound for that day, but the Molly Maid asked her to reschedule it because the end of the month is its busiest time.

Jansen said on the night of July 30 she went to hospital after she experienced “excruciating abdominal pain” and bleeding. 

The next day, Jansen said in her affidavit, she met with her doctor and proceeded with the ultrasound, which she said she had forgotten to cancel.

Her employer was skeptical, she said.

“So weird it’s on the day you have twice requested off????” Jansen said one of the owners texted when she told them she couldn’t work. 

Jansen said she interpreted the response to indicate the owner wasn’t concerned about her condition. 

‘Angry and powerless’

Over the course of the next two weeks, according to Jansen’s affidavit, she attended more medical appointments — some outside of work hours, others not — and discovered her baby likely would be born with a genetic disorder. 

“I felt scared and helpless. At the time, I could not focus on anything else,” Jansen wrote in her affidavit.

In her affidavit Jansen said she last worked on Thursday, Aug. 10 when she left early to attend a medical appointment. 

The following Monday, Jansen said her midwife informed the company she would again have to miss work to attend a medical appointment the next day.

By Wednesday, Aug. 16, Jansen told the company she could return to work. But Molly Maid told her they assumed she wasn’t returning because they hadn’t heard from her in six days. 

Jansen said Molly Maid told her it had already issued her final cheque and a Record of Employment stating that she had quit. In her affidavit, Jansen said she felt “dumbfounded and sick and hurt and angry and powerless.”

Jansen’s baby was born on Dec. 26, 2017. Jansen said the child is legally blind, with only one functioning kidney and a club foot. 

Her complaint is scheduled for a trial at the tribunal in February.


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