Cuts to PCH surgery on hold

Mike Carson
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Prince County Hospital

SUMMERSIDE - The future of after-hours surgery at Prince County Hospital is safe - for now.

Health Minister Doug Currie said Monday he will be moving for broader discussions within the health community to look the delivery of surgical services within the province.

Currie said, "I'm putting it back to Health P.E.I. and I'm going to work with Health P.E.I. We're going to work with the surgeons and the people who oversee surgery services in the province. I've told them to look at the whole discussion on overall surgery delivery and look at an integrated focus."

The minister said he wants a broader conversation undertaken with Health P.E.I. and the Provincial Medical Advisory Committee, which provides medical leadership in the province.

Currie said the recommendation to eliminate after-hours surgery at Prince County Hospital was just that, only a recommendation.

"The recommendation that has come forward is being pushed back," he said. "The surgeons are going to be very engaged and I want the Provincial Medical Advisory Committee to look at not just the on-call after-hours surgery, obviously there are issues around on-call pressures, but we want to look at a greater service delivery for surgery in general."

The minister said efforts would continue to recruit a third surgeon for Prince County Hospital.

"I'm going to take advantage of that time to go to another level with respect to the work that needs to be done to look at the overall integrated surgery delivery services."

The minister said he wants the get a broader understanding of what health services are being provided including upgraded and patient numbers for surgery.

"I've met with the Prince County Hospital Foundation and had some light conversations with the mayor (Basil Stewart)," he said. "This conversation has allowed me to get a stronger appreciation for the pressures on the on-call (service). My priority in this whole discussion is access to quality surgery for Islanders, from tip to tip."

Currie met with Summerside Mayor Basil Stewart on Monday to inform him that the after-hours surgery discussion had been taken off the table.

"Everything has been put on hold so that is great news," Stewart said. "He (Currie) is going to come up to Summerside and meet with myself and the Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce president and the Prince County Hospital Foundation."

Stewart said the date for that meeting has not been set.

 

Organizations: Prince County Hospital Foundation, Health P.E.I., Provincial Medical Advisory Committee Islanders Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce

Geographic location: SUMMERSIDE

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  • billy
    October 02, 2012 - 21:41

    I wonder how his highness Lord Basil will spin this one? "Yes well I called Currie up and basically TOLD him that we need that 1.3 million.........I mean the hospital kept open for us in the west here as we cannot be Charlottetown,but we try to be!!" Dear god in heaven just resign your lordship!!

  • Bill Kays
    October 02, 2012 - 15:00

    It is hard to say which one, Sheridan or Currie, is being groomed as the replacement for Ghiz. You know the carrot and stick stories. Well, they may have "pushed it back" for know but be wary of what the future holds. The only thing we know for sure is that this government lies to its people. This is a fact that cannot be disputed. It is part of the public record. How do we know this is not another lie? How do we know the cuts will not come next year or sooner or that we will see even greater cuts? With fewer people working or having the prospect of working in this province obviously the tax base is shrinking. So there will be less and less budget money available as time goes on. The pie is shrinking and the need (baby boomers) is growing. Cuts are inevitable unless you have your head in the sand. The difference is this government wants it done on the backs of the poor when it should be done on the backs of business instead. 40 or more years of corporate welfare has to stop. Priorities, priorities, priorities.

  • Joe Blow
    October 02, 2012 - 14:02

    What I don't understand is how the government thinks that providing less healthcare options to the taxpayers is actually considered improving healthcare for Islanders!!! They have absolutely no idea what they are doing and how they are negatively effecting every Islander. The Ghiz government needs to get their heads out of the sand and start thinking in realistic terms. Cutting services and departments to directly give that money to politicians and their friends while the taxpayers struggle is in every sense of the word....WRONG!!

  • Ed Gallant
    October 02, 2012 - 12:53

    Currie said the recommendation to eliminate after-hours surgery at Prince County Hospital was just that, only a recommendation. - When Health PEI and the Provincial Medical Advisory Committee (whoever they are) are advocating the end to after hour surgery, I see it as more than just a recommendation. He further states "The recommendation that has come forward is being pushed back," he said. "The surgeons are going to be very engaged and I want the Provincial Medical Advisory Committee to look at not just the on-call after-hours surgery, obviously there are issues around on-call pressures, but we want to look at a greater service delivery for surgery in general." Isn't that a little a@@ backward? Don't you think that they, at the very least, should have done that at the outset? What criteria did they actually use to come up with this "recommendation"? This was purely a political move and in fact is not based on any studies at all.When Basil Stewart can change his mind and alert him to certain facts in a "light discussion",surely this is further evidence that there was no study or very little thought put into this "recommendation". The Minister is made to look silly in this whole deal.Mr. Currie, you are the minister, please act like one.

  • Jimmy
    October 02, 2012 - 12:00

    Basil complained enough ( which is nothing new ) to put this on hold

  • Jimmy
    October 02, 2012 - 11:14

    People sooked enough