Patient capacity limits latest cut to ER services at KCMH: Opposition

Montague - New patient capacity limits are the latest cut to emergency department services at the Kings County Memorial Hospital and shows a further lack of commitment from the MacLauchlan government to health services in eastern Prince Edward Island, says Morell-Mermaid MLA and Opposition Health Critic Sidney MacEwen.

"This is yet another downgrading of emergency department services to residents of Eastern Prince Edward Island. I feel for the hard working staff trying to provide services in this environment, having to turn patients away because this government isn’t giving the staff the proper resources they need to do their work," says MacEwen.

Following more than two dozen temporary closures of the Kings County Memorial Hospital emergency room over the past year the emergency department hours of operation were cut in June by two hours a day by the MacLauchlan government. Despite assurances from government that these reduced hours would improve access to emergency health services for residents new patient capacity limits are now in place where patients are being turned away if the number of patients waiting to be seen can’t be serviced within the emergency department’s reduced operating hours.

"Maybe the most galling part about this is that patients are being advised that if their conditions worsen to call 911 or go to the nearest open emergency department, be it the Queen Elizabeth Hospital or Prince County Hospital. That will only add to overcrowding in those emergency rooms. We can do better than that for the thousands of Islanders who rely on KCMH," says Belfast-Murray River MLA Darlene Compton.

Georgetown-St. Peters MLA Steven Myers renewed previous calls for government to look at long-term solutions for the aging Kings County Memorial Hospital.

“Kings County Memorial Hospital is close to fifty years old and there are real issues with access to family doctors, walk in clinics and emergency department services. We have good people trying hard to provide the best possible services with what resources government has given them. It’s long past time that government look at how replacing Kings County Memorial Hospital with a modern hospital could enable a more collaborative approach to delivering health care that meets the needs of the public,” says Myers.