Premier Wade MacLauchlan, joined by all Liberal candidates, kicked off the spring election campaign this morning in Hunter River by outlining the Party’s policy on improving access to healthcare services and reducing wait times for Islanders.
“In order to ensure timely access to quality care, the Liberal Party believes that we must focus on supporting front-line services,” said the Premier. “Our policy to improve wait times will have the right professionals in the right places, and then let those professionals fully utilize their valuable skills.”
The Liberal Party’s platform contained a number of initiatives, including a new linear accelerator for the PEI Cancer Treatment Centre, improving access to healthcare in rural communities, and the recruitment of specialists in key areas tied to wait times.
The Premier announced that the Liberal Party would focus on decreasing waiting times for cataract, hip and knee surgery, and for MRI testing.
“Islanders waiting for MRI testing face unnecessary stress and the delay slows diagnosis and treatment. To reduce MRI wait times, we will add an additional shift at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. at a cost of approximately $500,000,” said the Premier.
The Liberal Party’s strategy for reducing wait times calls for an expanded role for nurse practitioners, pharmacists and paramedics, as well as an increased emphasis on wellness and disease prevention. Expanding the role of pharmacists and paramedics will free up physicians to treat more serious illnesses.
The Premier announced that the number of nurse practitioners will increase to 20. Nurse practitioners play a valuable role in the health system and will continue to work collaboratively with family doctors to provide a full spectrum of health services to Islanders. “By reducing or slowing the growth of demands upon the system and, at the same time, working to make that system more efficient, we can make meaningful improvements in the health and treatment of Islanders,” said the Premier.