No further answers from B.C. health minister on how fake nurse slipped through the cracks

·2 min read
Brigitte Cleroux, 49, hasn't completed nursing school and has never been licensed as a nurse. (Ottawa Police Service - image credit)
Brigitte Cleroux, 49, hasn't completed nursing school and has never been licensed as a nurse. (Ottawa Police Service - image credit)

B.C.'s health minister says it was "completely unacceptable" a woman posing as a nurse managed to assist with surgeries at a Vancouver hospital for a year, and promised a thorough review of what happened.

But Adrian Dix declined to address the concerns of patients who say they've received far too little information about Brigitte Cleroux's role in their health care or how she was allowed into the operating room at B.C. Women's Hospital.

During a press conference on Tuesday, Dix said the letters sent to patients by the Provincial Health Services Authority notifying them about the situation were "appropriate" for the circumstances, and said the issue will be dealt with in court.

"It was completely unacceptable that a person could work under those circumstances," Dix said.

"There will obviously be a report out on that."

Cleroux, 49, is charged with fraud over $5,000 and personation with the intent to gain advantage in B.C., after it was discovered that she had worked at the hospital from June 2020 to June 2021 without a nursing licence.

Vancouver police have said she used the name of a real nurse to gain employment.

Cleroux also faces similar charges in Ottawa, and has a long history of related convictions in a number of provinces. She was first convicted of crimes related to posing as a nurse in 2005.

Patients who received treatment from Cleroux began receiving virtually identical letters last week notifying them of what happened.

College of Nurses of Ontario
College of Nurses of Ontario

They've told CBC News they're dissatisfied with the letters they've received, which describe the situation as "potentially worrisome," but offer no details about how Cleroux's presence might have affected their care.

The health authority has repeatedly declined to provide any further details about the investigation or how Cleroux managed to secure the job in Vancouver with such a long history of impersonation.

Cleroux's first appearance in Vancouver provincial court was scheduled for Tuesday morning. It was adjourned until Jan. 5.

Vancouver police say any patients who were treated by Cleroux can reach investigators by calling 604-717-2556.

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