Island doctors ratify new agreement with province

Island doctors have ratified a new agreement with the Department of Health and Wellness.

The membership of the Medical Society of Prince Edward Island voted to endorse the agreement Tuesday with 91 per cent of members voting in favour of it.

The agreement is retroactive to April 1, 2015 and will guarantee a funding increase of three and two per cent in 2017 and 2018 respectively. There were no increases in 2015 and 2016.

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In a news release, Society president Dr. Scott Campbell said the agreement came at an important time because of the Island's aging population.

"An aging and more complex population combined with limited resources means we have to ensure we are providing the best care to our patients in the most effective and efficient way," said Campbell.

The new agreement also takes steps to formalize the partnership between the province and physicians through a memorandum of understanding.

"A cooperative relationship between physicians and government is key to achieving fiscal stability while still maintaining access and quality care for Islanders," said Health and Wellness Minister Robert Henderson in a news release.

The new agreement will see a $5 million investment, a new process to make changes to fee codes outside of bargaining and making the transition between doctors easier on patients when their previous doctor retires.

The new agreement will expire on March 31, 2019.

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