Souris seeking help against health care bullying

Nigel
Nigel Armstrong
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Alan MacPhee, chair of Islandwide Hospital Access speaks at a public meeting in St. Peters Bay Thursday. Close to 100 people attended to hear details of health care policy affecting Kings County gleaned by the citizens lobby group in its recent report titled "We Can Do Better."

Citizen groups says its problems with Health P.E.I. echo problems nationwide, time to fight back

A Prince Edward Island lobby group is whipping up support across Canada to fight what it calls the bullying quality of centralized health administration.

Islandwide Hospital Access held its second public meeting of this month Thursday evening in Saint Peters Bay, continuing to take its message on tour around Kings County.

Earlier this month, some 500 people packed into a meeting in Souris where the group unveiled its report titled "We Can Do Better: Major Changes Needed in P.E.I. Health Care".

RELATED: Hundreds gather in Souris to protest health-care services

The report includes a graphic showing that Souris hospital serves a geographic region of some 7,000 people but only has two doctors — 3,500 people per doctor. All other areas of the province have one doctor per approximately 1,500 people.

The group wants a more equitable distribution of the health dollars that the province gets from the federal government.

MacPhee said that based on the population of the Souris health-services zone, this area is not getting its fair share of the millions of dollars in federal equalization payments. He estimates it should come to about $30 million.

"The federal government sends that to P.E.I. based on population, per capita," said MacPhee.

"The province of P.E.I. wouldn't spend $30 million in Eastern Kings if they added up all the schools and all the hospitals and all the highways," he said to rousing applause.

"They are sucking money by the tens of millions of dollars out of every rural community and spending it in Charlottetown.

"It's an addiction to debt-fuelled centralization, like a junkie on our money," said MacPhee.

MacPhee said a citizen health group in rural Alberta wrote a recent report that came to similar conclusions as the report from Islandwide Hospital Access.

That prompted Alvin Keenan, a member of the P.E.I. group, to bring a motion to the annual meeting of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture this past week in Ottawa.

It asks the federation to support a call for a national rural health policy. The policy would include dedicated federal money to be used by the provinces only to the advancement of rural health care.

The Island group is going to ask many other national organizations to pass similar motions of support.

"This is a rural Canada issue, the same kind of bullying, the same kind of discrimination, the same kind of abuse, so let's get together and end this," said MacPhee.

Organizations: Islandwide Hospital Access, Souris hospital, Canadian Federation of Agriculture

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Souris, Canada Saint Peters Bay Kings Eastern Kings Charlottetown Alberta Ottawa

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • Jason
    February 27, 2016 - 20:14

    These people who keep saying if you live in a rural area you have made a choice to not be close to hospitals.....makes me so frustrated. We moved to this rural area because we did not want to live in a big city! The smaller, fully functional Acute Care Souris Hospital was here and was working! This small community had a fully functional 24-bed, acute care hospital with an Emergency Room!! The government kept hacking away at it until they made it into a Community Hospital with no Emergency Room and only 6 acute care beds. So, we chose to live in a smaller community with an Acute Care Hospital, not the "country" . There is a difference between "rural" and "country"!!!!

  • Jason
    February 27, 2016 - 20:13

    These people who keep saying if you live in a rural area you have made a choice to not be close to hospitals.....makes me so frustrated. We moved to this rural area because we did not want to live in a big city! The smaller, fully functional Acute Care Souris Hospital was here and was working! This small community had a fully functional 24-bed, acute care hospital with an Emergency Room!! The government kept hacking away at it until they made it into a Community Hospital with no Emergency Room and only 6 acute care beds. So, we chose to live in a smaller community with an Acute Care Hospital, not the "country" . There is a difference between "rural" and "country"!!!!

  • Dave
    February 26, 2016 - 11:01

    My wonderful wife grew up in Souris and we have been together almost 30 years. We are no longer on PEI, and have always in rural areas since leaving PEI. We have never received the access to Health care that rural Islanders receive, truthfully, not even remotely close. And........it's seen as completely normal. When you choose to live in the country, you choose not to live close to many conveniences. If the other 9 provinces can't afford it, why do some rural Islanders think PEI can?

    • Absolutely
      February 26, 2016 - 14:21

      I couldn't agree more. I continue to be gobsmacked with the demands of small communities. And I live in the country!

    • Absolutely
      February 26, 2016 - 14:21

      I couldn't agree more. I continue to be gobsmacked with the demands of small communities. And I live in the country!

  • david
    February 26, 2016 - 03:06

    This guy looks a lot like someone trying to get as much public attention so he can run for elected office. He is using healthcare as his basis for seeking attention. Have to wonder if we won't be seeing him as a candidate in next election.

    • Elise
      February 26, 2016 - 19:46

      Are you guys for real. 2 doctors for over 7000 people? Try getting an appointment with the 2 doctors. impossible almost. 30 day wait for a prescription renewal. 45 minutes to the closest emergency department. 2 ambulances are supposed to be in Souris, but it is still a 40 minute wait for 911 response in a medical emergency. No overnight emergency dept in Montague 40 minutes away. Even when they are open until midnight, the doctor has gone home at A10 p.m. so you still have to drive to Charlottetown. No " in 3 hour" stroke medication on the island because Pei doesn't want to fund 3 neurosurgeons to cover 24/7 . Some things we have to deal with all over the island and some just in the east end and west end of the island. then our population doubles in the summer so it's worse.