The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) is asking the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) to conduct a thorough investigation after a Prince Albert woman suffered from alleged medical negligence which may have led to intense burns.
Janette Sanderson, an Indigenous woman from James Smith Cree Nation, said she arrived at Prince Albert’s Victoria Hospital on June 30 just before midnight due to a broken ankle.
She said while she was in the emergency room, a nurse came and administered an injection into her IV which Sanderson does not know the contents of.
“She was pushing that stuff into my veins and it really hurt,” Sanderson said, “It started burning, worse than the pain on my ankle.”
Sanderson said she told the nurse three or four times that whatever was in the syringe was hurting her, but she said the nurse did not stop.
“I looked at my arm and my arm was already swollen up and in pain.” Sanderson said.
She said both the nurse and doctor told her that the burning pain would subside but Sanderson said it didn’t stop.
“This is the worst pain I’ve ever had.” Sanderson said.
“I just want to be heard, the way I was treated as an Aboriginal, I know it’s going on out there still and I heard a lot of people out there addressing what they went through,” Sanderson said, “I just want this to be spoken out and make sure that this doesn’t happen again.”
FSIN Vice Chief David Pratt said these types of incidents are unacceptable.
“When our people go into the healthcare system we expect nothing but the best based upon our medicine chest clause of Treaty number six,” Pratt said, “That’s so important to us.”
He said the federation is asking the SHA to do a thorough and complete investigation into the issue.
In a statement, the SHA said they are currently doing an investigation about the quality of care. It said it has been in contact with Sanderson and her family.
Pratt also called upon the federal government to support the FSIN in developing an ombudsman office to do an investigation.
“This is just another example of a need for that so that when incidents like this happen, our people have a place to go.” Pratt said.
He said the federation has heard many stories about negative experiences with the Victoria Hospital.
“It’s not just stories like this,” Pratt said, “I want to commend Jenette for having the courage and the bravery to come forward because we know it was a very traumatic experience for her but we think of all the people out there who have not brought their story forward.”
“Today she’s doing a good thing for our people and our region and I believe something good will come out of such an awful experience for her.”
Pratt said the federation is currently pushing for the Prince Albert grand council and their hospital which combines western and traditional medicines.
“If the federal government is serious about reconciliation then we need to be able to set up our own systems because the current systems are failing our people.”