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December 1, 2009
For immediate release

Progress on Integrated Health Care Services at Community Hospital O’Leary and West Prince Area Continues


The Department of Health continues to see improvements to services at Community Hospital O’Leary (CHO) says Health Minister Doug Currie.

“I want to ensure the residents of O’Leary and West Prince area that government is committed to providing safe, quality, sustainable health care services to the community,” says Minister Currie. “I have met with, and been in correspondence with, the concerned citizens committee and, while I understand they still have some concerns, I am confident that the initiatives and changes we have implemented will continue to improve services for the area.”

The following briefly highlights some of the health care service improvements and activities taking place in O’Leary area:

• Currently there are six physicians – more than ever before – providing services in O’Leary, which has resulted in significant improvements in wait times. Additionally, physicians in O’Leary, Alberton and Tyne Valley continue to work collaboratively to provide coverage for the Urgent Care Centre at CHO, the Emergency Department at Western Hospital and Beechwood Health Centre.

• Dr. Grimes has taken on the role of house physician for CHO and the Margaret Stewart Ellis Home. In this role, he will work with all physicians to define the admissions and discharges criteria for CHO, and assume on-call duties for CHO with support from his colleagues.

• There are no plans to reinstate the former hospital boards. The Health Governance Advisory Council’s Report was recently released and legislation was introduced to create a single, arms length governing board for all health services on PEI. One of the requirements of this new board is to create an effective and comprehensive public engagement strategy.

• Government has committed $3.2 million to the new O’Leary health centre currently in construction phase. When completed, it will house the current Beechwood Health Centre with the Urgent Care Centre at CHO and will bring enhanced health care services to the residents of O’Leary and surrounding areas. Having all primary care services in one location within the O’Leary Health Centre will allow for effective and efficient delivery of primary, urgent and ambulatory care services. The new West Prince Office of the Provincial Diabetes Program and expanded Mental Health Services will also be provided at the new location.

• Government has committed to a 15-bed expansion in the Margaret Stewart Ellis Wing of the CHO. This will increase capacity from 25 to 40 beds and align the region’s long-term care capacity with the rest of the province. Staff will continue to participate in the functional planning process, with construction expected in spring 2010.

Government is committed to improving health care services for residents of the West Prince area and these improvements are in line with government’s One Island Health System vision for all Islanders.

Media Contact: Darlene Gillis
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