Questions By Members, 16 June 2015
Source: Legislative Assembly of PEI

Women’s health

Dr. Bevan-Baker: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

On 2 June, government announced new measures to reduce some of the bureaucratic and economic barriers that stand in the way of Island women seeking access to abortion services on Prince Edward Island. While these measures represent a significant improvement on the situation, and I commend the government for these steps, it was also implied that they were simply the first steps towards better overall health services for Island women.

A question to the minister of health and wellness: What are these next steps?

Speaker: The hon. Minister of Health and Wellness and Family and Human Services.

Mr. Currie: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

We were very pleased on June 2nd to make some very significant moves forward in respect to eliminating barriers for access for Island women. We will be and have signed an MOU with the Province of New Brunswick. The new clinic, which has just recently opened, which is currently providing access for New Brunswick women, is just recently opened and Island women will be able to have access as of July 1st, Mr. Speaker.

Thank you.

Speaker: The hon. Leader of the Third Party for his first supplementary question.

Dr. Bevan-Baker: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I asked what the next steps would be.

Discussions around women’s health often revolve solely around the issue of abortion, to the exclusion of many other critical and common women’s health concerns including such things as post-partum depression, access to midwifery, infertility issues, and perinatal nutritional health.

Does the minister plan on addressing access to any of these other women’s health issues, and if so, could he give us an idea of when we might expect some action on this?

Speaker: The hon. Minister of Health and Wellness and Family and Human Services.

Mr. Currie: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

Very good questions. We have been in discussions in respect to advancing midwifery in the province. We’ve also been in discussions and updating the women’s advisory and the women’s network here in the Province of Prince Edward Island recently. We’ve had conversations with issues around access for obstetricians here in the province.

I will make a commitment here today that we have a number of initiatives moving forward. It’s very difficult for me at this point in time to give clear dates on those initiatives, but our priority is and will be to continue to improve access to a range of women’s health services here in the Province of Prince Edward Island.

Speaker: The hon. Leader of the Third Party for his second supplementary question.

Women’s health clinic

Dr. Bevan-Baker: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Thank you, minister. Do these future plans include the establishment of a women’s health clinic here on Prince Edward Island?

Speaker: The Minister of Health and Wellness and Family and Human Services.

Mr. Currie: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

We have been in discussion with a women’s health centre in respect to look at a range of services that could be incorporated, which would be examples that I did site – midwifery, looking at supports in areas of post-partum. So the women’s health centre concept is being looked at.

We are in discussions with our obstetricians very lately about ways that we can continue to expand access. Recently we announced training for family physicians to work with Island women, particularly in the early stages of their pregnancies. We are moving. There is a number of initiatives moving forward. As a government and as the minister we see tremendous opportunity looking forward in the near future at ways that we can sort of centralize and collaborate to make sure that we have better access to a range of services for Island women.

Thank you.

 

One Comment

  1. Bill Kays 17 June 2016 at 11:39 am

    Yes, we all want safe roads, but cheap roads. Anytime a minister states ‘those are good questions’ really means “I have a prepared answer to your question”. Sometimes it appears that the questions and answers are rehearsed for prime time. I realize that government is aware of many possible questions, but it still seems like a dog and pony show put on just to ease the public. What is with the SPEAKER referring to Baker as leader of the THIRD party, I thought it was the GREEN party. Being ranked 1, 2, or 3 or 4 maintains the hierarchic structure that we all abhor.

     

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