Hillsborough Hospital needs to go, says Currie

Jim Day
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Prince Edward Island health minister calls pyschiatric facility an out-of-date building

Hillsborough Hospital

The province is looking to replace the aging Hillsborough Hospital, says Health Minister Doug Currie.

Currie told The Guardian Thursday the province’s in-patient psychiatric facility has served the P.E.I. well but is clearly out of date.

“It’s 100 years old,’’ he says.

Currie agrees with the harsh assessment made by Margaret Kennedy, the director of mental health and addictions with Health P.E.I.

In an interview with The Guardian Wednesday, Kennedy described the facility as “antiquated’’ and “no longer able to meet the standards of care that are required.’’

Currie says over the past six months the province has been exploring how to replace the 69-bed facility.

“We have already looked at other facilities, what they look like, how they integrate with other levels of care,’’ he says.

However, Currie cautions that finding a replacement for Hillsborough Hospital is very much in the preliminary stage.

“It will not be replaced over night,’’ he says. “That’s a big policy decision by government.’’

Currie says his greatest concern with the mental health system in P.E.I. today is access. More needs to be done, he notes, to make the process more efficient to help people access the supports they need. An improved intergovernmental approach is also needed, he said.

“There has to be a better interface,’’ he says.

Currie responded to criticism that he and his government continue to study to death what is largely seen as a growing mental health and addictions crisis in the province.

“I’m not a big fan of studies that sit on the shelves,’’ he says.

Currie highlighted the fact that his government earlier this year spent $1.2 million in new initiatives to deal with prescription drug addiction in the province and appointed a specialist to come up with a long-term strategy to improve mental health and addictions services.

He says that specialist, Dr. Rhonda Matters, in her capacity of the newly created chief mental health and addictions officer, has been working since the first of November examining this difficult issue. He expects an update from Matters in the near future, which he will in turn make public.

“It’s a very complex file...not one size fits all,’’ says Currie. “It’s not about a quick solution.’’

Organizations: Hillsborough Hospital

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, P.E.I.

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Recent comments

  • observer
    January 10, 2014 - 21:53

    Why not bulldoze the old hospital which is a sick building, full of mold, asbestos and who knows what else. Then sell that panoramic piece of real estate to the highest bidder (not some random friend of the government for $1) and build a new, state of the art Mental Hospital in a field somewhere. The money from the sale of the land could go a long way towards the new building, and they could purchase cheaper land somewhere else.

  • don
    January 10, 2014 - 16:56

    yes build new more added to our trillion dollar hole. i wonder ho will get the contract to build ? lol like there is only one on PEI that can do it. by the time the election comes we will be quad trillion bucks in the hole.keep going we all know that you all love giving money to certain islanders but the ones who needs it.

  • Islander
    January 10, 2014 - 12:46

    If they replace it I hope it's in the same location, that one is beautiful and convenient (unlike the new Prince Edward home in the middle of nowhere).

  • about time
    January 10, 2014 - 08:02

    Must be time to build another wing on the QEH.

  • little guy
    January 10, 2014 - 07:50

    It was nice to see a Civil Servant tell the people what is happening at the Hillsborough Hospital. Funny Mr.Currie comes out with a press release after Margret Kennedy's interview. Maybe Minister you can take the monies from the barns at the CDP and built a place for the people with mental health problems.

  • Typical
    January 10, 2014 - 07:39

    Typical political response when a story about the poor services that government provides they comeback with a response saying were gonna fix it but it will take time maybe after the next election just like addiction services . People are dying now so open up your eyes and start moving on these issues because you will need a lot more time to try to win the next election than 2 years .. I know I won't forget the damage the liberal party has done to islanders

  • Mary
    January 10, 2014 - 07:08

    why can't old Hillsboro hospital be used to the homeless shelter

    • Off Islander
      January 10, 2014 - 09:12

      ....was just back home to the island and wow what a thought..instead of wasting money on the new stretch of road between Borden and Charlottetown monies would have been better spent on health care such as the Hills. hospital...and further more the persons responsible for that decision need their head read at the Hills Hospital....JUST SAYIN!!!!

    • Off Islander
      January 10, 2014 - 09:14

      ....was just back home to the island and wow what a thought..instead of wasting money on the new stretch of road between Borden and Charlottetown monies would have been better spent on health care such as the Hills. hospital...and further more the persons responsible for that decision need their head read at the Hills Hospital....JUST SAYIN!!!!