Getting back to normal
Murphy confident services will be maintained at Western Hospital
Alberton-Roseville MLA Pat Murphy says he’s convinced that if there are going to be any changes at Western Hospital they will be good changes.
Murphy, minister of rural and regional development, made the comment Tuesday while the hospital’s emergency department was functioning as a Collaborative Emergency Centre (CEC).
The hospital normally staffs an emergency department with an attending physician from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. and then it shifts to a CEC for the nighttime hours, staffed with a trained nurse, paramedic team and an on-call physician.
Late Monday afternoon, however, Health P.E.I. announced that, because of an unexpected absence of a physician, the emergency department would function as a CEC on Tuesday.
A Health P.E.I. official, although not available for an interview, indicated by email that the absence was sudden and efforts to find a replacement physician were unsuccessful.
Murphy said it was his understanding the physician who was scheduled to cover Tuesday’s shift had taken ill and the hospital was still down two emergency room physicians, one for medical reasons and the other for medical reasons affecting a family member.
Murphy disputes suggestions that recent challenges could be the beginning of a slowdown in services at the hospital.
“We’re doing investments at Western Hospital with the dialysis upgrades, with the palliative care upgrades. The CEC model works well,” he said. “I think people are happy with the CEC, too, and it’s worked quite well for us to help maintain our emergency services at Western Hospital.”
He’s also encouraged by the positive response to the telerounding project being piloted at the hospital.
Murphy said the regular emergency room doctor is expected back within a week and he’s confident the doctor who took sick this week will be back next week.
“Everything should be back to normal in the very near future.”