FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Souris, PE – (March 24, 2015) – The New Democratic Party of Prince Edward Island announced its second major plank in its election platform today in the form of a new PEI Health Accord – a commitment to working with Islanders to achieve optimal health and wellness for all.

NDP PEI Leader Mike Redmond presented the PEI Health Accord with former CEO of Eastern King Health Region and former Provincial Director of Child, Family and Community Services, Susan Birt who also announced her intention to secure the NDP nomination for District 1 Souris-Elmira in the next election.

“Susan Birt will be vital to the NDP in developing and delivering the PEI Health Accord, and, Susan will be an excellent MLA for District 1 Souris-Elmira,” stated Redmond.

The NDP’s PEI Health Accord has three areas of focus.
• Effective Governance
• Community Engagement
• Income Security and the Social Determinants of Health

Redmond elaborated on the area of governance in the PEI Health Accord featuring a review of Health PEI.

“The Health PEI structure is not guaranteed to be in existence after two years of an NDP government. We will review the mandate, operations and performance of Health PEI. If it is determined to be not the best option for the management and delivery of health care, Health PEI will be replaced,” added the NDP Leader.

Susan Birt spoke to the importance of the skills and knowledge of local people in the community engagement component of the Health Accord presentation.

“Government should and must value community engagement as a positive strength, a resource that helps do the job of governing more effectively. That is as true with health care as it is with every other aspect of public services,” stated Birt.

Redmond spoke to income security and the social determinants of health as a major branding difference contrasting the NDP with other political parties.

“This is where the NDP differs the most from the parties that have governed PEI and ran our health care systems in the past. People need the incomes and the overall social conditions in life to be healthy and well,” Redmond stated.

Birt expanded on the need for performance indicators in the management and evaluation of health care services.

“Whether it is Health PEI or some other structure or structures the elected government must mandate and fund health care around key performance indicators. And not shift the ground as it sees fit,” added Birt.

Redmond invoked the historic role of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) in the founding of Canadian Medicare.

“The CCF Leader, the forerunner of the NDP, Tommy Douglas founded Canadian Medicare in the middle of the last century in Saskatchewan. In the second decade of the twenty-first century Medicare will be renewed, strengthened and made fully available to all people. Right here, on Prince Edward Island,” stated Redmond.

Further details on the PEI Health Accord, related platform announcements and funding frameworks will be announced by the NDP PEI in the coming weeks.

Mike Redmond
Leader, NDP PEI
[email protected]