Review of allotment of physicians completed in eastern P.E.I.

Teresa Wright
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Dr. Nadeem Dada is the executive director of medical affairs for Health P.E.I. He says a review of the doctor complement in Eastern Kings has been completed.


Recommendation that was determined has not been released publicly

A review of eastern P.E.I.’s allotment of physicians has been completed and a recommendation has been made on possible changes, but it will be up to Health Minister Robert Henderson to decide what happens next.

As for the content of this recommendation, Health P.E.I.’s executive director of medical affairs, Dr. Nadeem Dada, said he cannot say.

“It’s a recommendation to the minister, and it’s up to the minister and the department to advise us whether that should be actioned, or otherwise,” he said.

“What I can tell you is (that) it’s not unusual to look at different positions to see how best they can be aligned.”

The physician review in Eastern Kings began after former Health Minister Doug Currie asked for a full review of family doctor allotments across P.E.I. with the idea of redistributing physicians to better suit population demands.

The province’s physician resource planning committee suggested beginning the review in eastern P.E.I. because it is regarded as a pressure point with residents there who routinely call for their four-physician complement to be filled.

Currently, there are only two physicians working in the area.

A full analysis was done on the health needs of Eastern Kings, taking into account not only the number of patients waiting for a doctor on the patient registry, but also the addition of nurse practitioners in the area, the hours physicians must be on-call and other services provided in the region.

The physician resource planning committee did reach a decision on Eastern Kings’ doctor complement and has forwarded its recommendation to the minister’s office.

“At this time I can’t tell you (what the decision is) because it really is with the committee and it’s up to the committee to send its recommendation to the minister and the minister makes a decision,” Dada explained.

He stressed that Health P.E.I. is still actively trying to recruit physicians to fill the two vacancies in Souris and there has been no change to this direction for Eastern Kings.

Residents of the area are up in arms over the issue, holding a rally last Wednesday night that drew more than 500 people. They are calling for extreme measures to be taken against the health bodies that regulate and deliver health services in P.E.I. until Eastern Kings’ full complement of doctors is filled.

The Progressive Conservatives say the rally shows residents feel their concerns over health care services are being ignored by Premier Wade MacLauchlan's government.

“The community has been trying to work with government on these issues for a long time and they’re frustrated at not being listened to,” said Souris-Elmira MLA Colin LaVie.

“If the premier and health minister didn’t want to come to Souris to hear the issues (Wednesday) night I can guarantee they’ll hear about them in the legislature.”

twright@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/GuardianTeresa

Organizations: Progressive Conservatives

Geographic location: Eastern P.E.I., Eastern Kings, Souris

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Recent comments

  • olddog70
    February 16, 2016 - 13:37

    I'll bite. It took this spotlight to make our powers that be to pay attention? Then they send in a flunky to pretend he actually did something to earn his paycheck by pawning it off to the minister who has to clear it with the emperor? OK got ya.

  • Fulton Underhay
    February 16, 2016 - 08:52

    The meeting in Souris was on Thursday night not Wednesday night

  • Interesting
    February 16, 2016 - 07:38

    It is interesting that they made their decision without any discussion to the residents of the area, considering there was a crowd of over 500 gathered last week. They only used a faulty program called "the patient registry" to help conclude. P.S.: A couple of years ago when a doctor left the area, the residents were told "DO NOT put their name on the registry because they will automatically be put on the replacement doctor's patient list". Guess what- that doctor was never recruited and the registry reflects this because it says we only have a couple hundred without a doctor ....lol... Health PEI is a joke and so is the registry.

  • population stats matter
    February 16, 2016 - 07:26

    All of Kings County had only 17,000 people in the last census (2011). The population of ''Eastern Kings'' (including St Peters and Bridgetown and everywhere east) was just under 6,000 souls. It'll likely be around 5,500 or fewer this year. People are voting with their feet and moving out so why shouldn't government services paid for by all Islanders (and Canadians for that matter) not follow suit and be focused on where the population is shifting to? Eastern Kings is a half hour drive to Montague and just under an hour to Charlottetown. I'm quite willing to bet that many residents there drive quite a ways to get groceries and other retail services, so why not government services too? There are MANY ''rural'' places in Canada that are much much much more remote than Eastern Kings. Get used to the new reality.

  • Quiet Observer
    February 16, 2016 - 07:17

    And who made up this committee? Doctors? Bureaucrats? How many people on the street were allowed input?

  • Summer resident
    February 15, 2016 - 18:20

    Have there been reviews of physicians caseloads ( no patient names involved) to determine percentage of patients with chronic illnesses versus worried well, acutely ill, annual checkups etc on each physician's caseload. I think we would be in for a surprise as many people rarely visit their GPs. Do we need all the GPs per population or could they be better distribution of talent and reimbursement based on various levels of care within GPs's scope of practice?