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December 12, 2008
For immediate release

PEI Ahead of the Country in Providing Access to Family Physicians


Prince Edward Island has exceeded a target outlined by the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) for improving access to family physicians.

The CFPC recently released a report card on the status of family doctors in Canada, which identifies a number of areas where health human resources are lacking across the country and presents recommendations to help government achieve a stronger family physician workforce.

In 2007, the CFPC set a target for all governments, health authorities and partners to work toward a goal that would see 95 per cent of Canadians with access to a family physician by 2012. Currently, 86 per cent of Canadians have access to a family doctor. In Prince Edward Island, more than 95 per cent of residents have access to a family doctor.

“Enhancing physician services is a priority for this government,” said Premier Robert Ghiz. “We are making tremendous progress toward ensuring every Islander has access to a family physician and we are pleased that more than 95 per cent of the people on Prince Edward Island have access to a family doctor, which is well above the national average.”

“During the past year, we were able to move forward on a number of initiatives, including the introduction of the Recruitment and Retention Secretariat, the Family Medicine Residency Program, additional medical seats at Memorial University for PEI students and incentives for physicians in the new Master Agreement,” said Health Minister, Doug Currie. “These initiatives will continue to support government’s priority to providing high quality, integrated health care to all Islanders.”

The recent Corpus Sanchez report identified primary care as the cornerstone of health care delivery. In the coming months, the Department of Health will be looking at models of primary care that better utilize the training and skill set of all health care professionals. The Department of Health continues to support changing roles and responsibilities of health care professionals to ensure that all health professionals can work to their full scope of practice and training.

By maximizing the scope of practice for all health professions, we create stability in the health care workforce, create quality practice environments and ensure that Islanders are receiving the best healthcare possible.

The provincial government is asking those who are looking for a family physician and have not previously registered on the Patient Registry to call the Patient Registry number at 1-800-321-5492.

Media Contact: Maureen Flanagan-LeClair
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