Health P.E.I. is currently exploring the possibility of consolidating outpatient services in the West Prince region, which has raised concerns among O’Leary residents about the potential loss of healthcare in their community. This move aims to address the workload challenges faced by staff members and the increasing demand for more serious care.
The current setup allows people in Alberton and O’Leary to access a range of ambulatory care services that do not require an overnight stay, such as cast removals, intravenous antibiotic treatments, iron infusions, and blood transfusions. However, the need for nursing staff in both facilities has posed challenges in delivering efficient and comprehensive care.
While Health Minister Mark McLane has emphasized that consolidation is not currently being considered, a senior manager at Health P.E.I. has acknowledged that consolidating these services into one location may be a necessary step. Executive director of hospital services and patient flow, Dylana Arsenault, explained this decision is driven by valid concerns raised by staff members about their workload and the increasing number of patients requiring more serious care.
The proposed consolidation would aim to centralize outpatient services, allowing staff to work together more effectively and ensure that patients receive the support they require. It is important to note that Health P.E.I. has previously merged ambulatory care services between the Western Hospital in Alberton and the Community Hospital O’Leary to address staffing shortages during the summer months.
Despite concerns of potential favoritism towards Western Hospital, which already hosts the region’s only emergency department, the goal of the consolidation is not to detrimentally impact any community or hospital. O’Leary Community Health Foundation chair Eva Rodgerson stressed that maintaining the same level of service for both facilities is of utmost importance.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. What is ambulatory care?
Ambulatory care refers to medical services provided to patients who do not require an overnight hospital stay, including procedures such as cast removals, antibiotic treatments, infusions, and blood transfusions.
2. Why is consolidation being considered?
Consolidation is being explored to address the workload challenges faced by staff members, improve efficiency and coordination of care, and meet the increasing demand for more serious medical interventions.
3. Will one community lose its healthcare services?
The aim of the consolidation is not to detract from any community or hospital but to ensure equitable access to outpatient services. Health P.E.I. is committed to maintaining the same level of service for both facilities.
4. How will consolidation benefit patients?
Consolidating outpatient services can enhance collaboration among healthcare professionals, streamline processes, and improve access to comprehensive care. This can lead to better outcomes and an enhanced patient experience.