P.E.I. Greens pledge $37 million for health workers' salaries, benefits if elected

CHARLOTTETOWN — Prince Edward Island's Green Party is promising $37 million to hike health workers' salaries and benefits, in its first costed health-care pledge of the election campaign.

The Greens provided the figure today, saying that if they're elected on April 3, the funding would go to nurses, medical lab technologists, radiation technologists, porters and cleaning staff.

Party leader Peter Bevan-Baker also said his party would ensure that health-care workers take their vacations and would help finance upgrades to workers' certifications.

The opposition Greens and Liberals have been arguing that the Progressive Conservative government had four years to improve the health system, but they say poor planning and inaction led to shortages of health workers and primary care.

However, the Tories have also rolled out health announcements during the first seven days of the campaign.

They're promising to expand a system of primary care hubs known as "patient medical homes" by adding 16 of the facilities across the province by the end of next year, with 100 full-time positions to staff the homes.

Tory Leader Dennis King has also promised that, if re-elected, his government would support health workers by providing free tuition for licensed practical nurses and paramedics.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 13, 2023.

The Canadian Press