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Sask. mother who lost daughter calls on government to investigate tragic death

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A Saskatchewan mother who lost her daughter in 2022 joined MLAs in the legislature on Wednesday calling for the government to follow through on their promise of an investigation.

Gwen Gilbert’s daughter, Andrea Parmar, died of complications following COVID-19 in the Yorkton Regional Health Centre ICU on March 31, 2022.

There were three registered nurses on shift but no doctor. Her family says care in the ICU was inadequate.

“The care she got there she received was absolutely horrifying,” Gilbert said. “The doctor in the ICU unit was not there when he was alerted that she had taken a turn for the worse. He told the nurses what to do.”

It took four hours for an on-call physician to come to the hospital to treat Andrea after her oxygen levels started to drop, but by then, she had died.

“Gwen and her family believed that Andrea didn’t get the care that she needed. They want to know why Andrea wasn’t intubated, why she wasn’t seen by an internal medical specialist that night, and why there was no effort to transfer her to Regina when it was clear that her health had begun to deteriorate,” Sask. NDP Leader Carla Beck asked during question period on Wednesday.

The previous Health Minister Paul Merriman met with Gilbert and MLA Aleana Young on May 15, 2023 to discuss the tragedy. Merriman had promised an investigation 30 days later but the family did not receive one.

“Commitments were made at that meeting but they haven’t been followed through on,” Beck said.

Health Minister Everett Hindley said he has a meeting set with the family on Thursday.

“Talk about both the previous response that had been sent and any questions that they may have around that,” he said.

The family also took its concerns to the regulatory bodies for the medical procession, which determined that policies and procedures were followed. The family is contemplating legal action.

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