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Health and Well-Being

Make essential services accessible from tip to tip. Islanders have the right services in a reasonable time, delivered with skill and quality, publicly managed in an open and accountable manner. Be guided by the concept of health determinants, rather than clinical treatment alone.

NDP MLAs will work to:

    • Ensure doctors, nurse practitioners and other health professionals are recruited and retained in rural PEI.
    • Develop community Health Hubs in underutilized spaces with in rural communities including but not limited to rural schools and community centres.
    • Promote community based health services to compliment the work of those at the two major hospitals and other clinics.
    • Reduce pressure on physicians by more fully using other personnel — nurse practitioners, pharmacists midwives etc.
    • Ask the office of the Chief Health Officer to assess the status of women’s health and relevant services which contribute to women’s health.
    • Fully support midwifery: implement the regulatory legislation to allow publicly-funded services to be integrated into the PEI health care system.
  • Put a stop to the creeping trend toward two-tiered health and wellness services.
  • Ensure that every Islander will have a family physician before 2023
  • Expand use of new approaches to long-term care such as intergenerational care.
  • Boost the capacity of homemaker and personal support services as part of public home care, and provide these services according to every person’s actual need, not with artificial limits on eligibility and amounts/hours.
  • Construct more publicly owned manors with an adequate range of services to address our aging population.
  • Reignite a national universal pharmacare system.

Guarantees for Rural Health Services

  • We guarantee doctors, nurse practitioners and other health professionals for rural Prince Edward Island.
  • West Prince and King’s county will have 24/7 emergency room services in the acute care hospitals in West Prince and King’s county. This is a commitment to 16 doctors in each area.
  • Community health clinics with evening walk-ins in Tignish, Alberton, O’Leary, Tyne Valley, Wellington, Bordon, Crapaud, North Rustico, Morell/St.Peter’s, Murray River/Murray Harbour and other communities where partnerships can be developed

The Hub

We stand for readily accessible services in the areas which make up most of the Island: in community centres which deal not just with medical treatment, but also with the more basic determinants of health and well-being.

Islanders are deeply skeptical about centralization — the pattern of eroding services at the local level, which threatens the life-blood of smaller communities.  We believe we can make primary care and health-promoting supports available in a local way, within a short drive.  At the same time, we can make constructive use of valuable community assets, like local schools.

We will create a ‘Hub’ project in at least two schools which have space available — community health centres where people can get easy access to a range of services.

  • Primary care - essential diagnostic and treatment attention by a doctor and/or nurse.
  • Broader programs, beyond medical, which address the aspects of our lives which contribute to how healthy we can be — nutrition, physical activity, mental/emotional wellness, social interaction, speech therapy, rehabilitation, skills development, even income generation.  Staffing is to include, for example, dieticians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers, health educators and outreach promotion practitioners, and mental health counsellors – with the special assignment to service schools.
  • ‘Navigational’ guidance and onward referral to more specialized services.  A hub is to have participatory management — with representatives of the people of the local area.
  • Commitment to the formation of Community Health Councils “Canada’s health system is supposed to be among the best in the world …

 "So what’s happening to serving people in rural PEI?”  Dr. Herb Dickieson

Family Doctors and Access to Primary Medical Attention

Despite Government's’ stated objectives to recruit physicians, their efforts have failed and thousands of Islanders remain without a family doctor. 

Every Islander must have ready access to diagnostic and medical treatment.

NDP PEI commits to:

  • Ensuring that every Islander will have a family physician before 2023
  • Reduce pressure on physicians by more fully using other personnel — nurse practitioners, pharmacists midwives etc.
  • Make hospital ERs and walk-in clinics more efficient: find best-practice techniques to streamline processing to cut wait times.
  • Put a stop to the creeping trend toward two-tiered access, which steals resources from the universal public system. Ban, for example, the scheme of paying a fee to reserve a place at the head of the line for attention at a walk-in clinic, which is an early warning about the danger of allowing people to buy favoured service.
  • End wait times for medical imaging. (MRIs, CT scans, radioactive imaging).
  • Assign more billing numbers including assigning numbers through Community Health Partnerships encouraging communities to assess their strengths and needs in recruiting physicians.
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Long-term care

We must have a balance between government and private services in this ever-growing health service but with primary commitment to public responsibility.

There has been huge pressure on nursing-home beds, and with ever-increasing demand, there is a temptation to simply pay private for-profit operators to carry the load.  But NDP PEI is always cautious about how ‘for-profit’ can affect the quality of care.

More than 19% of the population is over 65 years old and this is set to increase to over 25% in the next ten years. The government response is to increase the cost in beds by 34% and not enough beds to provide care for some of our most vulnerable residents. Here are three strategies for handling the demand on long-term institutional care:

  • Further adapt structure, programming and staffing in government manors to focus more on care for the increasing volume of residents with dementia and severe impairment.
  • Delay placements to nursing homes by boosting the capacity of homemaker and personal support services as part of public home care — and provide these services according to every person’s actual need, not with artificial limits on eligibility and amounts/hours.
  • Stop the trend toward privatization of essential home-care services, as shown by Government’s awarding services to Medavie/Island EMS.
  • Expanded use of new approaches to long-term care such as intergenerational care.

The NDP PEI will construct more publicly owned manors with an adequate range of services to address our aging population.

Women’s health

NDP PEI believes in health services and wellness as an essential human right, and in public responsibility to ensure access to these services.

  • Ask the office of the Chief Health Officer to assess the status of women’s health and relevant services which contribute to women’s health.
  • Fully support midwifery: implement the regulatory legislation to allow publicly-funded services to be integrated into the PEI health care system.

Medical Faculty at the University of Prince Edward Island

PEI needs to attract more physicians and the most efficient way will be to educate medical students right here.  We will begin negotiations immediately to establish this faculty at UPEI.

Completing a medical residency is an excellent way to integrate new physicians to our Island health system, showcase our province as a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family. We will double the number of residencies available right away with a target to triple the number of residencies during our first term.

National and Provincial Pharmacare program

Canada requires a national pharmacare program and the federal government is not getting it done. NDP PEI will work to reignite a national universal pharmacare system.