Health and Wellness Mandate Letter

Honourable James Aylward
Health and Wellness
PO Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8

Dear Minister Aylward:

I am pleased that you have agreed to serve Islanders as Minister of Health and Wellness. 

Our new Progressive Conservative government will work to deliver real benefits for all Islanders; because it’s about people. Guided by our approach that begins with putting people at the heart of every decision, we have offered a new, ambitious plan to deliver on our long-term vision for a stronger, healthier province.

I plan to effect change in a way that is true to Island values with strong consideration to our people, communities, wellness and environment. As Premier, I am renewing my commitment to lead with civility, respect, courtesy, and kindness; applying this philosophy to every aspect of our new Progressive Conservative government.

We seek the involvement of the People, ensuring our progress is measurable through transparent decision making and broad public engagement. We’re proud of our individuality and it’s our responsibility, as Islanders, to ensure our Communities are strengthened and sustained for many generations to allow for resiliency and success.  Maintaining our Wellness and healthy living means having timely access to the information and resources Islanders need to take care of themselves and their loved ones. The connection between Islanders and our Environment: the water, land, and the air has always been deeply personal. As stewards of these precious resources, we must understand their value and respect their fragility. These considerations along with your specific ministerial objectives should guide your work and shape your priorities from day to day.

I made a personal commitment to bring new leadership and a new tone to government. I want to work with all MLAs in the Legislative Assembly, and this new cooperative approach is critical to the success of our government.

Islanders expect our government to work together to advance the public good. That means seeking out, fostering, and advancing good ideas regardless of which side of the house they come from.

As minister, you are responsible for ensuring members of the Green and Liberal caucuses are appropriately consulted on major issues and legislation. This consultation and information sharing will occur in accordance with protocols established through caucus house leaders, and in accordance with relevant legislation and confidence. This level of practical collaboration is what Islanders have called on us to do and what we will work to provide them.

Your Mandate

As the Minister of Health and Wellness, your overarching goal is to lead our province’s efforts to deliver accessible, quality health services throughout the province, encompassing all matters of public health and wellness. You will ensure your departmental focus is on supporting the Speech from the Throne delivered on June 14, 2019 while delivering on priorities specific to your mandate.

I expect you to work with your colleagues and through established legislative, regulatory, and Cabinet processes to make substantive progress on the following priorities:

  • Address the mental health care challenges through the immediate investment of new mental health facilities and services that provides community-based treatment and support, equipped to deal with mental health emergencies, and launch a mental health app for Islanders to easily access supports and resources;
  • Review the recruitment and retention practices of all health-care professionals as part of a larger team effort to recruit and retain health practitioners to PEI;
  • Broaden the scope-of-practice for Island health professionals including nurse practitioners, registered nurses, resident care workers, licensed practical nurses and pharmacists;
  • Develop a PEI Womens' Health Strategy which will include the creation of a Womens' Health Fund to invest in research, programs and services for Island women;
  • Reduce barriers to fertility services and supports available to Islanders, and reduce the financial burden of in vitro-fertilization treatment;
  • Complete a provincial breast screening program review and consultations with clinical staff towards ensuring all women who undergo a mammogram will be notified of their breast density and associated risks, with ultrasound screening potential for those in the highest category of breast density;
  • Work collaboratively with Health PEI to strengthen and improve access to front-line health care services in Island communities;
  • Engage stakeholders in a sustained commitment to expand and improve the execution of Electronic Health Records, further integrating the circle of care and improving quality of care and access to services for all Islanders;
  • Support the 2023 Canada Games Council in their planning stages in advance of the games;
  • Lead the 1000-day initiative, collaborating closely with the Minister of Education and Lifelong Learning, ensuring that our children across Prince Edward Island have the best possible start in life;   
  • Work with your colleague the Minister of Justice and Public Safety to create a third option program for Island sexual assault survivors;
  • Work with your colleague the Minister of Social Development and Housing to enhance various supports for Island seniors, including relevant housing and in-home supports; and
  • Work with your colleagues the Minister of Social Development and Housing and the Minister of Education and Lifelong Learning to implement a comprehensive wellness strategy focused on active living, healthy eating and proactive health lifestyle.

Islanders expect us to fulfill our commitments, and it is my expectation that you will work with our skilled professional public service to deliver on this mandate. You are to consult with your Deputy Minister and other senior officials under your leadership to ensure that all decisions are solidly based on the best evidence available. The public service is a valuable resource and our government believes in building an even stronger work environment based upon clear communication, dignity for all employees and a mutual respect. The list of priorities is ambitious and will take time to plan and deliver to achieve successful outcomes.

I want to remind you of the importance of reducing red tape and other barriers facing Islanders accessing services and considering the climate impact while delivering on your priorities. These lenses must transcend through all Departments. Keep in mind that as we move forward our government’s priorities may have to adapt to reflect changes in circumstances. We will work together to ensure any amendments required are well thought out and reasoned.

All members of Cabinet are expected to review, understand and act according to the Conflict of Interest Act and to conduct themselves with the highest level of integrity. As a Minister of the Crown the manner in which you conduct yourself reflects on you, as well as your Cabinet colleagues and our government as a whole.

In addition to your mandate above, you have been appointed as Minister responsible for the City of Charlottetown. You are responsible to engage with the local government and stakeholders to advance the interests of the area and be their advocate at the Cabinet table.

I know I can count on you to fulfill the important responsibilities entrusted in you. In turn, please know that you can count on me to support you every day in your role as Minister.

I look forward to working together with you to build opportunity for all Islanders.

Sincerely,

Honourable Dennis King
Premier of Prince Edward Island

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Published date: 
October 11, 2019
Health and Wellness

General Inquiries

Department of Health and Wellness
4th Floor North, Shaw Building
105 Rochford Street
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-368-6414
Fax: 902-368-4121

DeptHW@gov.pe.ca