An Open Letter to all Islanders on Rural Health Care

July 6, 2018

 

Fellow Islanders,

Rural health care matters on Prince Edward Island. 57,000 Islanders live in rural communities from tip to tip. The engines that drive our provincial economy are based in rural and coastal communities across the Island.

For those rural communities to grow and thrive we need good access to health care, but too often we are seeing government’s solution be to downgrade services or cut them altogether. People in Kings County or West Prince who need timely access to health care services are all too familiar with this pattern.

Last night at a public meeting concerning the Emergency Department services at Kings County Memorial Hospital it was evident that the current government is only focused on damage control and not focusing on putting forward solutions to improve and enhance health care in rural communities.

For more than a decade this government has tried to centralize access to health care. That does not work for Islanders living in rural or urban communities. This government does not see strengthening access to rural health care as a way to improve health care for ALL Islanders.

We should be creative and think outside the box when it comes to health care. What the government is doing is not working – we need solutions.

It is not rocket science. We need to rethink how we deliver healthcare in rural PEI.

We need to expand the scope of practice for nurses, pharmacists, and Nurse Practitioners to let them work to the full extent of their training.

We need to have a look at primary care networks and enhance the services available to ensure Islanders are getting the right care in the right place at the right time.

We need to redesign our recruitment of health care professionals by having a dedicated recruiter for rural PEI. There is no reason why private recruiters cannot be assisting our recruitment efforts during times of need.

But, what we really need is a government that is willing to lead. The Liberals have had more than 10 years to fix our health care system but haven’t been able to do it.

A PC government under my leadership will work hard to enhance health care services in rural PEI. We will collaborate with front line staff to implement solutions that are sustainable and provide better access to health care services in rural communities.

Sincerely,

James Aylward
PEI PC Party Leader