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April 17, 2013
For immediate release

O'Leary community meeting

Health and Wellness

A large crowd attended the O'Leary community information session to discuss the role of Community Hospital in the province's integrated health system, says Minister of Health and Wellness Doug Currie.

"I appreciate these opportunities to hear from communities and provide them with more information on the steps we are taking to use all our health facilities to their full capacity," said the minister.

Community Hospital O'Leary will specialize in extended care for people from across the province who still need hospital care after a surgery or illness but no longer have specialized acute care needs. Lab and X-ray services will remain at Community Hospital O'Leary, as well as ambulatory services and the walk-in clinic.

In 2012, a fifteen bed extension was opened in the Margaret Stewart Ellis Wing of the hospital. Thus far, eight beds have been staffed. Tonight it was announced that the additional seven beds will be staffed over the next couple of months.

Primary care services will increase in the area as residents will have better access to their family physician with the introduction of a Collaborative Emergency Centre model overnight at Western Hospital in Alberton.

Currently, ER shifts are 24 hours at Western Hospital. The new model will see physicians work 12-hour ER shifts. This will result in approximately 140 additional patient visits each week – or 7,500 appointments a year.

West Prince residents will also benefit from enhanced ambulance services with the addition of a new rapid response unit. This medically-equipped SUV will be staffed by a highly trained paramedic who will initiate assessment and treatment. He or she will be in constant contact with the ambulance unit until it arrives, if needed for transport.

These enhancement’s are part of system-wide enhancements to provide better access to better care for all Islanders.

“Many jurisdictions in Canada are facing the same challenges as Prince Edward Island and they are looking to us as a leaders in how we are managing these challenges,” said Health PEI CEO, Dr. Richard Wedge.

More community information sessions will be taking place in Montague and Summerside. Details on times and locations for these meetings and information on Better Access, Better Care can be found online at or by calling 1-800-236-5196.

Media Contact: April Winchester
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