January 7, 2016 | Download original letter
Honourable Robert Henderson
Minister of Health and Wellness
Government of Prince Edward Island
4th Floor, Shaw Building
P.O. Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
Dear Minister Henderson,
I am honoured to welcome you to Cabinet and to your new role as Minister of Health and Wellness. Together, we will work to fulfill the trust that Islanders have placed in us to lead with integrity and purpose, as we build a prosperous, caring and engaged society for the people of Prince Edward Island. We have a clear and coherent plan to enhance PEl's quality of life, to advance our economic growth, and to build strong community across our Island, as outlined in the Speech from the Throne, and your Department will play an important part in achieving those goals.
As a Government, we are committed to openness and transparency, and to the highest standards of ethical conduct in our decision-making and governance processes. We will be accountable for our actions, and we will increase opportunities for Islanders to engage in shaping our future path and in carrying out the work of Government. You and your colleagues play a crucial role in fulfilling those commitments.
I look to you to ensure adherence to the strengthened measures that are being put in place for expense disclosure by Ministers and senior officials; to be frugal in conducting your duties; to deal with citizens and clients in a fair, transparent and balanced way; and to ensure open, merit-based processes for hiring and board appointments within your area of responsibility. I also encourage you to commit to making sure that Prince Edward Island Government services can be easily accessed by our citizens, community groups and businesses. As we work internally and with regional governments to reduce unnecessary regulation and improve service delivery, I welcome your ideas and leadership.
Our work over the coming term of office will be shaped by our commitments to the people of Prince Edward Island as set out in our campaign document, Let's Work Together! We have set out a plan to build a prosperous economy, achieving growth above national averages, and develop a stronger society through the three integrated priorities of people, prosperity and engagement. Working across Cabinet, Government and community, we will strive to put in place the best supports for all Prince Edward Island residents, to allow them to meet challenges and to flourish as individuals and families. We will create more opportunities for business, trade and jobs. And we will strive to put Prince Edward Island on the map as an innovative leader.
I look to you to help our Government achieve these goals by taking action to ensure the necessary healthcare supports for individuals and families on Prince Edward Island, and the ongoing emphasis on wellness and innovation in delivery to promote, maintain and restore the health of Islanders. In so doing, you will work closely with your colleagues in Health PEl and in other Atlantic jurisdictions to promote responsive, sustainable healthcare for all our residents.
The Department of Health and Wellness represents the largest area of investment for public finances in our Province, as befits an area of great consequence to all Islanders. Working with your Deputy Minister, your principle aims are to ensure the delivery of quality healthcare and to advance a culture of wellness, and to promote innovations that serve both aims.
- Enhance primary care on PEl, through active recruitment and deployment of key, skilled front-line workers at all levels;
- Continue to advance a culture of wellness on PEl, working with community and educational groups to see this embraced across PEl and in all demographic groups;
- Work with Health PEI to advance service delivery, effective clinical decision-making and adherence to fiscal goals in our health system;
- Continue the effective implementation of the Generic Drug Program;
- Renew the Master Agreement with PEl physicians to ensure compatibility with ongoing requirements of Islanders, provision for innovation and effective management of healthcare, and accountability in meeting fiscal capacity;
- Work with your counterparts in Atlantic Canada to develop and implement regional strategies that improve effectiveness and efficiency in the management and delivery of healthcare, including the development of a common formulary and increasing the generic fill rate;
- Advance rural health delivery, including the full implementation of regional district advisory councils; and
- Work with the Departments of Family and Human Services and Justice and Public Safety on a renewed Mental Health and Addictions Strategy.
In this context, I ask to you place particular priority on the following areas:
Your leadership work can and will only be accomplished through active engagement with many Government and delivery partners. To this end, I expect you to work closely with your provincial and territorial counterparts, and especially those in Atlantic Canada, as well as the Federal Government, to ensure services that are responsive, innovative and sustainable.
I also look to you to develop and maintain effective, trusting relationships with your Deputy Minister and departmental officials. Our dedicated and professional public service is vital to the attainment of our goals as a Government, including careful, prudent management to achieve our commitment of a balanced budget in 2016-17. Your Deputy Minister is your primary source of support in achieving your responsibilities as outlined above.
Within this context, your Deputy Minister is ultimately accountable to me, through the Clerk, for supporting you in a manner consistent with the duly-approved policies of Government, and the overall agenda and direction of Government. I ask you to bear these dual accountabilities in mind as you continue to develop your working relationship with your Deputy.
These are exciting times for Prince Edward Island. I am confident that, working together, we will make great strides to fulfill the potential and opportunities of our Province and our residents and ensure that we can face the future strong, proud and optimistic.
Premier of Prince Edward Island