Madame Speaker, Last week I was pleased to announce that Prince Edward Island will be implementing our first ever Collaborative Emergency Centre.
Collaborative Emergency Centres – common referred to as CECs, are an innovative way to improve access to both primary health care and emergency services.
Nova Scotia has successfully implemented CECs in numerous communities which were having difficulty maintaining consistent emergency services, and Saskatchewan is currently doing the same.
After extensive research, and seeing firsthand the success in Nova Scotia, we will be implementing a CEC at Western Hospital in Alberton over the coming months.
Western Hospital has seen too many closures over the past year due to physicians not able to take the overnight shifts at the ER. A Collaborative Emergency Centre will increase access to stable, reliable, predictable primary health care and emergency services.
During the day, from 8am to 8pm 7 days per week, the Emergency Department will operate with a Nurse and an ER physician, as it currently does.
Throughout the overnight the ER will become a Collaborative Emergency Centre with two health professionals working together onsite and in constant contact via telephone with an ER physician…collaboratively they will provide assessment, patient care and coordination of emergency services.
So if someone in Alberton is suffering from a mild fever, a sprain, a minor burn, or any medical problems that require prompt attention, but is not life threatening, they can go to the CEC and be cared for.
The new model will ensure that the doors at Western Hospital remain open 24/7…and provide stabile services for the residents of West Prince.
Statistics show that there are very few patients at Western Hospital ER throughout the overnight…approximately only 8 patients present during the overnight hours each month who are level 1 or 2 emergencies. By concentrating our resources during the hours when the vast majority of Islanders require care, we will better meet patient needs.
In addition, the new model will free up our family physicians and allow for up to 140 additional appointments per week – that’s 7500 additional patient visits every year.
So when residents of West Prince call to make an appointment with their doctor, they should be able to get a timely appointment….our family physicians will be able to focus on their practice and on their patients.
Over all this new model will create better access to family physicians in West Prince and more reliable access to the emergency services at Western Hospital… it’s about Better Access, Better Care for Islanders.