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P.E.I. government makes longer commitment to funding Tignish Health Centre

Health Minister Robert Henderson was on the hot seat Tuesday with five hours of questions on his Health P.E.I. budget for 2017-18. Most questions focused on mental health and addictions services.
Health Minister Robert Henderson. - The Guardian

TIGNISH, P.E.I. - The annual operational funding for the Tignish Health Co-op Centre that former Health Minister Robert Henderson promised during the fall session of the legislature has been approved.

“It’s on its way,” health centre manager Wendy Arsenault said.

The provincial government has been awarding operational funding annually since 2011. During the fall sitting of the legislature, Tignish-Palmer Road MLA Hal Perry pressed then Health Minister Robert Henderson for an update on funding and for some assurance that the funding would be ongoing. At the time, Henderson said he expected the 2017 operational grant would be activated before year’s end. 

Perry said getting annual funding for the health centre was part of his 2011 campaign pitch.

Henderson praised the health centre in the legislature, describing it as an “unbelievably fantastic model” for rural health centres in the province.

Arsenault said this week the Tignish Health Co-op just had to fill out some forms outlining what it has been doing and what its plans are before the funding was approved.

In getting confirmation the funding is on its way, Arsenault said the health centre also received assurances that funding will be renewed annually for the coming years.

“We have something a little bit more written in stone now,” she added.

The $45,000 in operational funding, she said, is consistent with the previous two years.

The operational funding does not touch the expansion the health centre’s board of directors is contemplating. Arsenault indicated the board has struck committees to investigate funding options.

Perry said he expects there will be a request made to government for assistance in moving that project forward and he is hoping to get new Health and Wellness Minister Robert Mitchell and Premier Wade MacLauchlan up for a visit to meet with the board and to discuss possibilities.

“We’re hoping to do that soon,” he said.

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