Health Canada names team to review cases of Manitoba men switched at birth

Health Canada has named the two people who will lead a review team looking into the cases of four men switched at birth in a northern Manitoba hospital.

They are:

  • Dr. David Creery

A pediatric intensive care physician and the medical director of patient safety at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa. He is also an investigating coroner for the City of Ottawa.

  • Maura Davies

The former president and CEO of the Saskatoon Health Region. She has extensive experience in delivery of health services and patient safety.

Additionally, Calvin James Bergen, the family doctor of two of the men, will assist with the review, Health Canada officials said. They hope the review will be complete by early 2017.

Luke Monias and Norman Barkman discovered through DNA testing last year that they ended up being raised by each other’s parents after being switched shortly after birth at the Norway House Indian Hospital in 1975.

This past summer, DNA tests revealed a similar mix-up involving two other men born at the same hospital in the same year — Leon Swanson and David Tait Jr.

Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott, who met with three of the men and their families earlier this week in Winnipeg, called the mix-ups appalling.

In addition to Health Canada’s review of what happened, the RCMP is investigating.

“The department takes this issue very seriously and is committed to supporting the individuals and families affected by these traumatic events,” said a statement released by Health Canada on Thursday.

“While the RCMP’s activities are separate from Health Canada’s review, the department will fully co-operate with this investigation.”

The review team will examine hospital records and contact individuals who were involved at that time in an effort to “clarify the circumstances of the known cases,” the Health Canada statement says, adding the results will be made public.

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