Top News

If improvement is to be continual, deficiencies in PEI health care must be squarely addressed


Island Wide Hospital Access has long supported a change in management at Health P.E.I. and at the HPEI annual meeting, new management was on display. It was refreshing to have a minister of health who actually attended the full meeting; however, as well as the very important and good work that is done in healthcare, if improvement is to be continual, deficiencies must be squarely addressed.

The HPEI annual meeting is a stew of self-congratulations and thus is inadequate. The status quo does not meet P.E.I.’s current and rising healthcare needs, so substantial, continual improvement must happen.

As in medical care, the first step in improvement is an honest examination that never happens at Health P.E.I.

The annual meeting had little recognition of the problems, challenges and victims of One Island Health. Even naming the abortion clinic the ‘Women’s Wellness Center’ is untruthfully misleading. There is never any mention of public dissatisfaction, of reported complaints, the tragedy of medical errors of victims of Health P.E.I. and/or litigation thereof.

The HPEI annual meeting is a stew of self-congratulations and thus is inadequate. The status quo does not meet P.E.I.’s current and rising healthcare needs, so substantial, continual improvement must happen.

As in medical care, the first step in improvement is an honest examination that never happens at Health P.E.I.

The annual meeting had little recognition of the problems, challenges and victims of One Island Health. Even naming the abortion clinic the ‘Women’s Wellness Center’ is untruthfully misleading. There is never any mention of public dissatisfaction, of reported complaints, the tragedy of medical errors of victims of Health P.E.I. and/or litigation thereof.

The meeting had inadequate or no discussion or plans to address long wait times, the shortage of specialists and referrals, the restriction on the number of doctors, the manipulation by some doctors of payments schemes, the mental health resource crisis, the outlier ambulance times, the administrative and union bungle, and other numerous problems in P.E.I. healthcare.

There is essentially no management consequence for grave errors — the only ones suffering consequences are patients who are victims of a system with no accountability. The HPEI annual meeting is self-congratulatory Pollyanna — it is inadequate and dishonest in not reflecting the real and serious issues of healthcare delivery to all of P.E.I. in 2016– the management system is incurably dysfunctional.

Yes, it’s 2016 and the demographic or community composition of P.E.I. should be represented but it is not. Approximately 80 per cent of the 100 attendees were women who appeared to work for or be affiliated with Health P.E.I. Attendance is unbalanced.

Why is there no broad attendance for the largest employer, largest spender and host of the leading social issue on P.E.I.? One of the reasons for the lack of public engagement is with only 10 days notice, the meeting date shifted to mid-October which is the middle of potato harvest and the end of fishing season — another disconnection to rural P.E.I. reality.

The real reason for public disengagement is no real citizen/ community engagement for healthcare on P.E.I. which government wants.

This is contempt and fear of the people and contrary to good management and good governance.

It is obvious that this management team is attempting to be transformational, however it is highly improbable the systemic problems creating health victims of Health P.E.I. can be overcome without structural change. IWHA thinks the fundamental problems of HPEI can only be resolved with transformational change in the structure and delivery of healthcare.

Most of all, P.E.I. needs local elected community hospital boards. Until that happens spending budgets will grow, annual meetings will drone on but healthcare performance results will continue to flounder well below our needs and potential.

- Alan E. MacPhee is chairman of Island Wide Hospital Access

Recent Stories