B.C. patients learning they were treated by alleged fake nurse
A number of past patients at a Vancouver hospital are learning they were treated by a woman accused of fraudulently posing as a nurse.
Brigitte Cleroux is charged with fraud over $5,000 and personation with intent in British Columbia and is also accused of similar offences in other parts of Canada.
The woman allegedly used a real nurse's name while "providing medical care to patients" at B.C. Women's Hospital, according to the Vancouver Police Department. She worked at the hospital for an entire year, from June 2020 to June 2021.
Patients who are believed to have had interactions with Cleroux are now finding out through letters sent by the Provincial Health Services Authority.
Paige Morris was a patient at the hospital in May 2021, when she was admitted for a surgical abortion.
“The nurse that attended to me and gave me my medication was Brigitte Cleroux,” Morris said. “I remember that she was really rude, like she was really condescending with the other people that were working, her colleagues and stuff. She was shouting a lot.”
Morris said she received a letter last week that notified her that an "individual was involved with the care you received at B.C. Women’s,” though the woman wasn’t named.
Morris then saw Cleroux's photo in the news.
“Her face was on the front of the first article I saw and I was like, that’s the woman that treated me that day,” she said.
Vanessa Sawrey also received a letter after having surgery in February to find an IUD that had “gone rogue” in her body.
“I don't remember which nurses I had really taking care of me, because I was completely out of it,” Sawrey said, adding Cleroux may have been involved in treating her while she was under anaesthetic.
Cleroux has faced similar charges before. In 2010, the professional body that oversees nurses in Alberta issued a warning about Brigitte Cleroux Marier, when she was charged for falsely impersonating a registered nurse. She was previously convicted in Ontario of similar offences and sentenced to six months in prison, fined $60,000 and given two years' probation.
When asked about the allegations during B.C.’s COVID-19 briefing, Health Minister Adrian Dix said it was “completely unacceptable” that a person could work under those circumstances.
A spokesperson for the Provincial Health Services Authority provided a written statement to CTV News, acknowledging Cleroux's record and assuring that the government is "reviewing this matter fully to determine how this occurred, any internal processes that may have contributed to it, and impact to patients.”
Cleroux is currently in Ontario and made her first appearance remotely in B.C. court on Tuesday. The case was adjourned until Jan. 5, 2022.
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