Government health worker fired after sending out inaccurate cancer results

P.E.I. nurse misdiagnosed cancer patients
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 10/08/2013

Prince Edward Island’s Department of Health and Wellness was justified in firing a cancer screening clerk who incorrectly told 20 patients they were free from cancer and cancer precursors.

Tamara Whitlock was employed as a secretary with the Organized Stroke Care Program when she was fired on March 9, 2012, as a result of her work as a clerk for the Colorectal Screening Program in Charlottetown.

When it hired Whitlock, P.E.I.’s Department of Health and Wellness was running a colorectal cancer screening program targeting everyone age 50 to 70 in the province. Residents in this age bracket were given kits to collect and submit three different stool samples for laboratory analysis. Early detection is crucial in the treatment of colon cancer and this method of testing — approved by the Canadian Association of Gastroenterologists — required three samples.