Statement from Health Canada on Norway House Hospital

OTTAWA, Nov. 24, 2016 /CNW/ - In the last year, Health Canada has been made aware of reports of four individuals who were switched at birth in Norway House Hospital in the 1970s. The Department takes this issue very seriously and is committed to supporting the individuals and families affected by these traumatic events. The Minister of Health met with the individuals, their families and their representatives to discuss these incidents and to understand the impacts on the men. Health Canada has committed to engaging the services of independent third parties, who will review the circumstances that led to these incidents.

Today, Health Canada can confirm that Dr. David Creery and Ms. Maura Davies have agreed to lead the independent review. Dr. Creery is a Pediatric Intensive Care Physician and the Medical Director of Patient Safety at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) in Ottawa, Ontario. He is also an Investigating Coroner for the City of Ottawa. Ms. Davies is the former President and CEO of the Saskatoon Health Region and has extensive experience in delivery of health services and patient safety. Dr. Creery and Ms. Davies will work with a dedicated team to complete the review by early 2017. Additionally, the family doctor of two of the individuals, Dr. Calvin James Bergen, will be assisting with the review and continuing to provide support to the men and their families.  

The review team will conduct a thorough examination of available hospital records and will contact key individuals who were involved at that time. This review is intended to clarify the circumstances of the known cases.

On October 7, 2016, Health Canada learned that the RCMP would be initiating an investigation into the same cases in Norway House. While the RCMP's activities are separate from Health Canada's review, the Department will fully cooperate with this investigation.

The Department is confident that Dr. Creery and Ms. Davies – with the support and collaboration of Dr. Bergen – will conduct this review in a manner that is sensitive to and respectful of the affected individuals, their families and communities. The results of this review will be made public.


SOURCE Health Canada

For further information: Media Relations, Health Canada, (613) 957-2983

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