Liberal MLA pushes for details on P.E.I.'s proposed health-care model

·2 min read
'When the premier announced this new model for health care, I think many I was very curious and somewhat intrigued,' says Liberal MLA Robert Henderson. (Legislative Assembly of P.E.I. - image credit)
'When the premier announced this new model for health care, I think many I was very curious and somewhat intrigued,' says Liberal MLA Robert Henderson. (Legislative Assembly of P.E.I. - image credit)

There appeared to be more questions than answers in the P.E.I. Legislature on Thursday as a Liberal MLA looked to find out how the province's proposed new health-care model will help address the growing patient registry.

Premier Dennis King announced plans to set up collaborative structures for patient care in three Island communities during his state of the province speech last month. The system is referred to as "medical homes" and "medical neighbourhoods."

"I'm trying to take the best of the best medical advice I can take from medical professionals who do this for a living ... to try to revolutionize how we provide health-care services in this province," said King.

But in the legislature on Thursday, Liberal MLA Robert Henderson questioned how the system would work and who would be given access.

"When will the three medical neighbourhoods become operational?' he asked the premier.

"What communities will these health neighbourhoods be located in? And how or did or will you decide where these medical neighbourhoods will go?"

Premier Dennis King announced plans last month to launch a new health-care model in three Island communities.
Premier Dennis King announced plans last month to launch a new health-care model in three Island communities.(Legislative Assembly of P.E.I.)

While King did not provide pointed answers to where and when, he said they "will be primarily directed toward those areas where the greatest need is in terms of those requiring the services who don't currently have a family doctor."

He added that "more information will be available in the days ahead."

According to Henderson, more than 16,000 Islanders are currently listed as waiting for a family doctor — a number he said continues to grow. But despite efforts, he was unable to find out approximately how many will be removed from the list through this new program.

"What we're trying to really do is deal with the realities that we face in 2021, which successive governments for far too long have chosen to not address," said King.

King said there have been many changes in how health care is delivered and the province must keep up. In some cases, that means perhaps not seeing a family doctor first and instead having appointments with other health-care professionals.

But King remained adamant that "there's a doctor there ... for those who need them and there will always be."

In terms of what services will be provided and who will provide those services, that remains to be seen.

"Is it going to be provided by family doctors, nurse practitioners, RNs, health-care workers or janitors?" Henderson asked.

"I think all of those individuals that he mentioned and many more will be available," said King.

"And I really do hope there's a janitor there to clean up after as well."

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