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June 23, 2009
For immediate release

PEI Hospitals Planning for Temporary Acute Care Bed Closures This Summer


A planned annual summer slowdown for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), Prince County Hospital (PCH) and community hospitals across PEI will result in temporary acute care bed closures.

“The planned annual slowdown is scheduled so that we can provide our dedicated staff the chance to take time off during the summer vacation period,” said Doug Currie, Health Minister. “It is important that staff have a chance to enjoy well-deserved time off during the summer. As in previous years, the planned bed closures will provide staff this opportunity while ensuring minimal interruption of service to Islanders.”

A number of hospitals will be closing some acute care beds across various units within their respective facilities. Emergency services, including emergency surgical services, will remain fully operational during the summer months. Elective surgical services will be reduced for a five week period at both Prince County and Queen Elizabeth hospitals with the exception of elective orthopedic surgical services, which will continue to be offered during the summer slowdown.

Temporary acute care bed closures will take place during the summer months as follows:

• Queen Elizabeth Hospital: closing 45 to 52 beds across various units from July 17 - August 23.

• Prince County Hospital: closing 15 beds from July 10 - August 15.

• Kings County Memorial Hospital: closing four beds from June 22 - September 15.

• Western Hospital: closing seven beds from June 20 - September 20.

• Souris Hospital: no bed closures planned.

• Stewart Memorial Hospital: no bed closures planned.

• Community Hospital O’Leary: no bed closures planned.

Teresa Hennebery, Assistant Deputy Minister Health Operations, also noted that operating facilities with a reduced number of beds during the summer period does place some increased responsibilities on physicians, nurses and staff; however, emergency departments will be staffed appropriately ensuring that we continue the provision of safe, high quality care to patients and their families. “We appreciate the efforts and support of all staff who work diligently to provide services to Islanders and visitors during the summer months,” added Hennebery.

Persons requiring non-urgent care are encouraged to seek services at a physician’s office or a walk-in clinic. Emergency departments will remain fully operational and the public should continue to seek services especially in critical, emergency situations.

Media Contact: Laura Jones
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