Quebecers who missed surgeries due to pressure tactics by medical specialists in 2002-2003 could be entitled to compensation from a $1.5 million class-action lawsuit.

Patients won their lawsuit in February after dozens of operations were cancelled or delayed as a result of a dispute between the provincial government and specialist doctors.

Jean-Marie Larochelle from the Larochelle law firm says only 56 of the 3,360 eligible people have filed a claim. 

"Most of the people passed away because we can't find them," Larochelle said. "And we look for the funeral home, and we ask them 'Could you find a member of the family who could claim for them?' But it's really hard."

His law firm has expanded its search but he hopes more people come forward.

Paul Brunet, a patients' rights advocate, believes the specialist doctors should have to pay to publicize the claim.

"It's sad because there's no reason why these people could not or should not be collecting that money," Brunet said.

"Any defendant who's ordered to pay indemnities should be ordered to add a much more important budget to be able to have a massive publicity and reach patients."


To be eligible for the money, patients must register on this website if they missed an operation on any of the following dates:

Nov. 13, 2002

Dec. 2, 2002

Jan. 16, 2003