Health P.E.I. making 25,000 calls to update patient registry

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Health P.E.I. understands people are frustrated with the size of the patient registry, says Andrew MacDougall. (Shane Hennessey/CBC - image credit)
Health P.E.I. understands people are frustrated with the size of the patient registry, says Andrew MacDougall. (Shane Hennessey/CBC - image credit)

Health P.E.I. began calling every Islander on the patient registry over the summer to make sure those on the list are still looking for a family doctor.

There are currently more than 25,200 people on the registry.

Health P.E.I. says it goes through this process every couple of years.

"We want to be able to pull people off that list as soon as we can and as efficiently as we can, and certainly a big part of that is having information that's current," said Andrew MacDougall, executive director of community health and seniors care.

He said Health P.E.I. appreciates it when people call to say they do not need to be on the registry any more, but the agency can't rely on that to ensure the list is accurate. Common reasons for no longer needing to be on the list include having found a doctor or having moved out of the province.

When Health P.E.I. last went through this process, about 5,000 people were removed from the registry, MacDougall said.

Brian Higgins/CBC
Brian Higgins/CBC

The province is also taking the opportunity to talk to Islanders on the registry about how they are accessing health care.

The number on the list is currently very large, MacDougall acknowledged.

"We have heard — and we feel as well — the frustrations of Islanders about being on the list to begin with, and then certainly those that have been on the list for a considerable period of time," he said.

The province is hoping a new model of primary care, placing patents with medical homes instead of just with a doctor, will help bring the number down.