PE Ledger

Opposition suggests the government enhance access to health care for rural P.E.I.

PEI

Key takeaways: 

  • ‘How can you explain the absence of access to health care benefits in rural P.E.I.?’
  • Green M.L.A.s says the government should enhance access to health care services in rural P.E.I. 

The Official Opposition says the government needs to make sure Islanders in rural communities have access to adequate health care — especially as the province plans to close its COVID-19 cough and fever clinics. 

Green MLA Trish Altass raised the subject during the question period Tuesday. On Monday, Health P.E.I. declared it would shut its two cough and fever hospitals in Charlottetown and Slemon Park at the end of March.

Once those clinics shut, routine care for Islanders with respiratory disease will now transition back to household doctor offices and walk-in clinics, a noted release said. 

Altass said when she heard the clinics would be shut, she checked to see when the walk-in clinic in Summerside would be holding clinics — only to find there aren’t any planned for this week. 

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The Official Opposition says the government needs to make sure Islanders in rural communities have access to adequate health care

“How are residents in the Summerside location supposed to take your suggestion and go to a walk-in clinic when required if the walk-in clinic isn’t even open?” Altass said. 

Health Minister Ernie Hudson said the decision to shut the cough and fever clinic was made by doctors who felt now was the good time to do so, and he has belief in that decision. 

Altass said shutdowns and a lack of doctor coverage at the Summerside walk-in clinic are not a new issue and one government hasn’t been able to manage in years. She said it’s a constant concern in rural communities on P.E.I., including those within Hudson’s district, home to the Western Hospital in Alberton.

Western Hospital’s collaborative emergency center was shut on Friday due to an interim lack of staffing. The hospital has been haunted by staff shortages and has had to close its emergency center multiple times.

Source – cbc.ca

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