The Island’s Green leader said the biggest concern he’s hearing at the door during the election campaign is health care.
Peter Bevan-Baker said many Islanders worry about access to a family doctor, government’s ability to address mental health and addictions and available services for seniors.
The Green party provided details Friday on its multi-pronged approach to transforming health care on the Island.
The party said it will approach these challenges with a number of measures to address current pressure points in the system, as well as a longer-term vision of using the social determinants of health to improve the well-being of all Islanders.
The Green platform commits to establishing health-care hubs in rural hospitals to enhance service integration by bringing together a wide range of services, including diagnosis, treatment and support for managing acute and chronic disease.
It also supports the development of collaborative community health centres to ensure local access to primary care.
The Green Party platform commits to improving home care supports and long-term residential care for Island seniors.
On the issue of the recruitment of health professionals, Bevan-Baker said government must look at the systemic barriers to recruitment and retention.
A few of the Green party health-care commitments include providing health professionals the opportunity to work to their full scope of practice, introduce comprehensive midwifery services in several centres with provision for home births where desired and review the legislation for Health P.E.I. with the objective of strengthening its independence and providing greater accountability for health outcomes.
Green Party health care commitments include:
- Provide health professionals with the opportunity to work to their full scope of practice including, but not limited to, pharmacists, midwives, and nurse practitioners
- Expand and improve rural health services
- Establish health-care hubs in rural hospitals to enhance service integration by co-locating and providing a broad range of health services by health-care professionals, including diagnosis and treatment of health conditions and support in managing long-term health care, including chronic illnesses like diabetes
- Support the development of collaborative community health centres to ensure local access to primary health care
- Improve homecare and long-term residential care for Island seniors
- Provide better homecare supports so Islanders who wish to can remain at home longer
- Roll back the recently announced fee increase in public facilities and implement incremental and predictable increases
- Conduct a full assessment of costs for public facilities and income levels required to receive subsidies
- Introduce comprehensive midwifery services to provide preconception, pre-natal, delivery and post-natal care in several centres with provision for home births where desired and appropriate
- Include birth control pills and IUDs in the P.E.I. Pharmacare Program for Islanders not covered by existing health-care plans
- Expand Dental Health Care benefits to social assistance clients and extend coverage to low-income Islanders
- Introduce a “social prescribing” pilot program
- Expand health-care coverage to include “social prescribing” that recognizes social connection as fundamental to wellness and allows health-care professionals to prescribe physical, mental and culturally-appropriate activities as important aspects of their patient’s health-care approach
- Develop models of remuneration and benefits that enhance our ability to recruit new physicians
- Actively recruit medical residents and specialists including nurse practitioners to train and work on P.E.I.
- Review the legislation for Health P.E.I. with the objective of strengthening its independence and providing greater accountability for health outcomes