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Liberals say recruiting health professionals to P.E.I. will enhance access to health care

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New recruiting efforts are the cornerstone of the Liberal plan to improve access to health-care services, said the Island’s party leader.

Wade MacLauchlan said the party’s recruitment proposals are specific and well-researched.

“As a result, wait-times will be significantly reduced for thousands of Islanders,” said MacLauchlan.

A few of the specific areas for recruitment include hiring five new specialists to improve access to key surgeries, including hip/knee replacements and cataract surgery, filling the complement of doctors practising in rural areas and enhance incentives for retention and increasing the number of psychiatrists and mental health nurses.

Recruitment and retention efforts continue to be a top priority.

P.E.I. now has 262 physicians providing health-care services to Islanders, more than ever before, and an increase of 66 physicians since 2006.

Many of these new physicians are providing specialized services to Islanders in areas like cancer care, neonatology, geriatrics and mental health.

“Unlike the other parties, the Liberals have proposed a series of clear, achievable commitments to ensure better access to health professionals,” said MacLauchlan. “Additionally, we are committed to enhancing access at our four rural hospitals, enhancing mental health services and post-operative care in local communities.”

The Liberal party’s goal is to place the patient first, he said.

“These commitments will improve rapid access to health care.”

A few of the specific areas for recruitment include:

  • Five new specialists to improve access to key surgeries, including hip/knee replacements and cataract surgery
  • Fill the complement of doctors practising in rural areas and enhance incentives for retention, which reflects the strong Liberal commitment to P.E.I.’s four rural hospitals in Alberton, O’Leary, Souris and Montague
  • Increase the number of psychiatrists and mental health nurses, which will mean that Islanders have among the best access to professional-based mental health care in Canada, and provide professional mental health services in all regions of the province
  • Increase the number of nurse practitioners across the Island, with a commitment to dedicate $2 million specific to rural health care
  • Invest more in health recruitment and retention and specifically add a position focused on rural recruitment of health professionals
  • Work with all health-care professionals and health-care groups to help determine recruitment and retention strategies, including increasing funds for return-in-service agreements and more connection to a collaborative practice model

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