Questions By Members, 1 December 2016
Source: Legislative Assembly of PEI

HW management issue

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

I’d like to follow up on what the hon. Member from Rustico-Emerald was just saying.

Disturbing news report this morning about the loss of one of our two gastroenterologists on PEI has left many Islanders with a queasy feeling in their stomach. The convoluted and sad story reveals one thing, however, very clearly. When it comes to delivering health care services, PEI has a systemic management crisis.

When a department manager in Health and Wellness is accusing upper-level bosses in Health PEI of what he said –

Some Hon. Members: (Indistinct).

Dr. Bevan-Baker: – it’s impossible to come to any other conclusion.

A question to the Minister of Health and Wellness: What will you do to address this acute management issue?

Speaker: The hon. Minister of Health and Wellness.

Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, it may not be a matter of what we will do, but it’s what we’ve already done.

In fact, actually, we have made some changes in our management structure at the situation where one particular doctor, Dr. Dada, is not with us anymore and we have now Dr. Tom Dorran is in charge of medical affairs. Hopefully things will continue to evolve and we’ll only see more improvement of services here in Prince Edward Island, Mr. Speaker.

Speaker: The hon. Leader of the Third Party.

Retention of doctors

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

The loss of experienced doctors is traumatic for patients, but it’s also extremely costly to the health services. Our province’s retention of newcomers is the lowest in Canada, and it appears that this inability to entice people to become permanent residents of Prince Edward Island extends, too, to medical personnel.

Minister, we know that much effort and money is expended on recruitment of new doctors to PEI, but what does your department do to make sure that these doctors who we do attract here are encouraged to stay?

Speaker: The hon. Minister of Health and Wellness.

Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, once again, when we are in the process of recruiting and retaining high-end professionals here to the Province of Prince Edward Island we do work with the newcomers association, we do work with Workforce and Advanced Learning, to make sure that they comply and meet all of the procedures to actually work here in this province.

I’m quite proud to say that we’ve, once again, done a great job in attracting physicians. We have more physicians practicing here in Prince Edward Island than for some time, and we’re also filling vacancies that are in the specialty field which are very difficult to recruit for.

We will make sure that any Islanders that are receiving services in gastroenterology will be followed up with a locum, once recruiting a position in the long term.

Speaker: The hon. Leader of the Third Party.

Family doctor access

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

Of course, gastroenterology is not the only medical field on PEI where recruitment and retention are problems. An hour before the House opened today we heard that the PEI family doctor of the year, Garth Slysz, is leaving Prince Edward Island. As we know from earlier questions, we have a deficit of family doctors in Souris. We have a deficit of family doctors all across the Island.

Can the minister tell this House when every single Islander can expect to have access to a family doctor?

Speaker: The hon. Minister of Health and Wellness.

Mr. Henderson: Once again, Mr. Speaker, to the hon. member’s question, we do have some vacancies on Prince Edward Island, but, once again, we have more doctors practicing.

We have continued to fill vacancies as doctors retire and as doctors choose other locations to practice. That’s their prerogative.

But once again, it’s to make sure that the physicians that we are filling these positions with do have all the proper prerequisites and competencies that Islanders would expect, and that’s a role that we work with with the medical society, as well as the college of physicians, to make sure that we’re giving the highest quality of health care in this province, Mr. Speaker.



  1. rebootbill 2 December 2016 at 4:18 pm

    Is the Liberal Party not already fleecing the newcomer’s association enough? Putting our healthcare in the hands of, or hopes of, the immigrants to solve our problems will never accomplish their goals. All hope of paying off Provincial and Federal debt is also on the newcomers shoulders. Let’s stop HOPING or WISHING and actually MANAGE.

  2. W.Wilkins 2 December 2016 at 5:23 pm

    Ironically, and sadly, Mr. Henderson couldn’t be more correct. It isn’t a matter of what they will do, it is a matter what they’ve already done.


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