P.E.I Adopts Nova Scotia Health-care Models

March 21, 2013

Nova Scotia’s approach to better health care is being adopted by another province, Prince Edward Island.

P.E.I. will partner with Nova Scotia for the 811 service and establish a collaborative emergency centre, based on Nova Scotia’s model. This is an example of the increased regional co-operation Atlantic premiers are championing, to provide local solutions and better service for families in the region.

“We’re honoured P.E.I. is choosing to help its residents with this Nova Scotia-style health-care model,” said Health and Wellness Minister David Wilson. “We’re proud of 811 and it speaks to the reputation of our service that P.E.I. wants to partner with us. 

“We hear how well our collaborative emergency centres are working to provide better care sooner for Nova Scotians, so it’s great to share what we’ve learned.”

Nova Scotia created the collaborative emergency centre model in 2010 to keep emergency rooms open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Saskatchewan is also examining the model for rural parts of the province. CECs ensure patients have access to same-day or next-day appointments with physicians, instead of waiting weeks to see a doctor. Nova Scotia has six CECs. 

So far this year, 811 has helped more than 80,000 patients, providing advice on everything from staying healthy during flu season to treating a baby’s diaper rash. The service is operated by McKesson Canada, which employs more than 30 registered nurses to deliver it.

“We are working to provide better access and better care for all Islanders,” said P.E.I. Health and Wellness Minister Doug Currie. “By joining Nova Scotia’s 811 service, we will be able to offer our residents convenient, timely access to health information 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

“We are also very pleased to be introducing Prince Edward Island’s first collaborative emergency centre. It’s working in Nova Scotia to reduce waits for primary care, and we are confident it will work on P.E.I.”

P.E.I. will pay costs to join the 811 service. Islanders are expected to be able to call 811 starting in the fall. The first collaborative emergency care centre, at Western Hospital in Alberton, will be established over the next several months.