Chang­ing land­scape

Health P.E.I. to un­der­take a re­view of the dis­tri­bu­tion of fam­ily physi­cians

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - NEWS - BY ERIC MCCARTHY TC MEDIA

The pres­i­dent of the Med­i­cal So­ci­ety of Prince Ed­ward Is­land is ap­plaud­ing Health P.E.I.’s de­ci­sion to un­der­take a re­view of the dis­tri­bu­tion of fam­ily physi­cians across the Is­land.

Health Min­is­ter Doug Cur­rie an­nounced the re­view last week.

“The last time a physi­cian re­source plan was done was 200809,” noted Dr. Jill Cun­niffe.

“It’s im­por­tant that it is re­done, as the land­scape has changed some­what on P.E.I.,” she said, point­ing to an ag­ing pop­u­la­tion and, with it, a change in the com­plex­ity of health-care prob­lems.

Cun­niffe said she was en­cour­aged to hear the min­is­ter’s com­mit­ment to en­sur­ing all Is­lan­ders have timely ac­cess to a fam­ily doc­tor.

“We’re happy to work with gov­ern­ment on that,” she said.

The num­ber of pa­tients who do not have a fam­ily physi­cian is con­cern­ing, she said, point­ing out that can lead to de­layed di­ag­no­sis.

“When chronic dis­ease is ac­tively man­aged,” said Cun­niffe, a hos­pi­tal­ist at Queen El­iz­a­beth Hos­pi­tal in Char­lot­te­town, “you have bet­ter out­comes.

JIM DAY/THE GUARDIAN

Dr. Jill Cun­niffe is a hos­pi­tal­ist at the QEH, look­ing af­ter up to 17 pa­tients in any given day.

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