(OTTAWA) A bill tabled today in the Senate by Senator Mac Harb and seconded by Senator Wilbert Keon, will establish the National Medical Devices Registry to be overseen by Health Canada.
“If something goes wrong with your car, you get a notice right away,” says Senator Harb. “But if a medical device fails, there is no fool-proof system to make sure those depending on that device are notified.”
Approximately one in ten Canadians have an implanted medical device, ranging from pacemakers to hip joints. Thousands more use prescribed medical devices such as blood glucose monitors. In 2005, a total of 4,284 new medical devices received market authorization from Health Canada. A total of 555 faulty devices were reported to Health Canada that same year. While there is a registry for devices, there is no central registry of the patients who are using those devices.
This voluntary registry will contain, with their consent, the names and addresses of persons who use medical devices, allowing Health Canada to contact individual Canadians in a timely manner in the event of a device recall, malfunction etc. Canadians will be able to rest assured that they will receive quick and reliable information and Health Canada’s ability to protect our health and safety will be enhanced.