“All Islanders deserve to be treated with respect and dignity and have fair access to the medical care required for them to lead productive and healthy lives from birth to end of life. Dealing with the root cause of illness, both physical and mental needs to be a priority instead of short term and reactive remedies. Proactive planning is needed to ensure proper management of the healthcare system”
Scope of Practice – Proactive Planning
All Islanders deserve to be treated with respect and dignity and have fair access to the medical care required for them to lead productive and healthy lives from birth to end of life. Dealing with the root cause of illness, both physical and mental needs to be a priority instead of short term and reactive remedies. Proactive planning is needed to ensure proper management of the healthcare system.
To provide the healthcare services required in our province we must be more efficient in how we utilize our facilities, our healthcare professionals, our health budget and improve the flow of patients through the system.
To most efficiently utilize the healthcare professionals in our province, we need to ensure each professional is working to the top of their scope of practice. The current system is not realizing the full potential of our highly skilled professionals.
There are national guidelines for healthcare budget allocation that specify what percentage of the healthcare budget should be spent on prevention, mental health and other specialties. We must adopt a funding model that follows the best practices to ensure we are spending appropriately in all areas.
We need an agile system that can quickly adapt from feedback provided by patients and frontline workers so that our systems can improve and become more efficient.
To consistently improve healthcare and its delivery through innovation, integration and evidence based practices and using outcomes that are measured, assessed and reported. For example mental health walk in clinics have been established, but have they decreased the number of patients showing up in ERs in a mental health crisis?
Preventative Medicine for Healthy Futures
Appropriate funding must be invested to reduce the incidence and impact of chronic disease.
Ensure access to services, through community partnerships, that will encourage Islanders to make healthy choices to keep themselves, their families and their communities healthy. Community organizations that increase access to healthy food, sports activities, and foster greater connections with community members are critical components of a preventative healthcare strategy.
Mental Health and Addiction Services
Situational and/or innate factors can cause a deterioration in mental wellbeing. The outcomes of these factors often require different approaches of intervention and treatment.
We must build support systems, training and coping strategies for life events that all Islanders will experience in order to minimize long-term consequences from these events. A proactive approach to foster resilience in our population would alleviate stress on the medical mental health care system.
We need to acknowledge, promote and support community based groups that are providing life saving services to persons with addictions in PEI such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Smart Recovery.
Our population is dealing with a high level of trauma induced mental illness and addiction. We need to seriously address this and deal with intergenerational trauma and cycles of abuse to reduce the long-term costs associated with this underlying social reality. It is time to face this part of our reality and release the province of this cycle of abuse.
We must ensure adequate proportions of the healthcare budget are invested in mental health and addiction services to appropriately fund and staff the complement of professionals necessary to offer timely and appropriate mental healthcare to all Islanders. This is especially important since this aspect of our healthcare system has been underfunded for decades.
We need to better connect mental healthcare professionals to offer collaborative care to ensure efficient and well rounded care to mental health patients admitted to psychiatric units.
Recruitment and Retention
To be effective at retention and recruitment, health care professionals need to be allowed to practice to the best standards of their professions and in the best interests of their patients. Health PEI should not be mandating specific treatment limits per diagnosis. We must allow physicians to assess their patients and treat them as they individually require.
Chronic understaffing of all healthcare professionals has left frontline workers at risk of burnout and is impacting retention.
We need to empower front line workers with sustainable training, mentoring programs, support to manage equitable work loads and mechanisms to make changes to improve healthcare delivery.
To overcome the current challenges and ensure equal healthcare for all Islanders in a currently underfunded system, there is a need to implement innovative, long-term solutions. Together, through a shared vision, we can improve the delivery of healthcare and continually promote, protect and provide for the health and well being of all Islanders.
Healthcare in rural communities needs to be stabilized to ensure the longterm viability of rural communities. The good news is that we do not need to find new solutions to longterm problems. Solutions exist and are working in other jurisdictions. We need to update our model of care to build in these solutions where they exist.
What does this mean for Islanders?
An Effective, Efficient and Accountable System for Delivery of Health Services will:
- Enhance access to health services to all Islanders, including family doctors and specialists
- Improve quality of care
- Improve system efficiencies
- Enhance transparency and accountability
- Increase system morale and aid in retention and recruitment
- Ensure earlier interventions to decrease the severity of the cases that present themselves to our healthcare system