Hospital Services

If you have a valid PEI Health Card, you will be covered for costs associated with medically necessary hospital services as an inpatient or outpatient in Prince Edward Island. As a patient, you can access different services as part of your care.

What type of care is offered at each hospital in Prince Edward Island?

There are seven hospitals in Prince Edward Island.

The two main referral hospitals provide inpatient, outpatient, community and specialty services.

There are four community hospitals. Services vary at each facility but typically include acute care, extended care and community-based services.

The province has one in-patient psychiatric facility that provides specialized acute and long-term treatment and rehabilitation.

When should I go to an emergency department versus a walk-in clinic?

If you or someone in your care has an urgent medical condition or is experiencing a health crisis, go to the nearest Emergency Department or call 9-1-1.  

Some examples of an urgent medical condition include:

  • discomfort or tightness in the chest;
  • unusual shortness of breath;
  • abdominal pain;
  • a prolonged and persistent headache or dizziness;
  • an injury that may require stitches or may involve a broken bone;
  • prolonged diarrhea or vomiting (especially a child); or
  • a fever of 38°C or 100.4°F, or higher (a baby under six months).

If you are not feeling well and cannot wait to access your family doctor, a walk-in clinic can offer non-urgent care after hours.

A telehealth nurse can help you determine if you require emergency or non-urgent care. Call 8-1-1 for free and confidential advice from a registered nurse any time of day or night, 7 days a week. 

What are my rights and responsibilities as a patient?

It is important that you understand your rights and responsibilities as a patient. Your rights explain how you should expect to be treated. Your responsibilities explain how you can be a more active member of your health care team and help us to provide you with the best and safest care possible.

What if I don't speak English?

Interpretation services are available if you do not speak English. This service is offered to newcomer, immigrant and francophone patients and families as clear communication is essential for effective health service.

How should I prepare for a stay in hospital?

If you are admitted to a hospital, you should bring the following items with you:

  • Your PEI Health Card and your private health insurance card (if you have private coverage);
  • An up-to-date list of your medications  [PDF | 609 KB] including how much, how often and why you are taking each one and if you have any medication allergies.
    • Take all medications with you (in their original container) - pills, inhalers, eye drops, patches, injections and creams.
    • Include any over-the-counter products you use, such as vitamins and herbal products.
    • Note:  Medications you take in hospital may look different from what you are used to taking at home. If you have questions, ask your health care provider or ask to speak to the pharmacist.
  • Personal care items including pajamas/night gown and robe, slippers or indoor footwear, toiletries such as soap, shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste;
  • Do not take personal valuables such as money, credit cards or jewellery.

What should I know when preparing for surgery?

Most surgeries performed are day surgeries from which you return home the same day, while other surgeries may require you to stay in hospital where you can be monitored during your recovery.

If you are scheduled for day surgery, you can expect to go home in the early to late afternoon or evening on the day of your operation. You will need to arrange for someone to take you home once your procedure is finished.

You will be given specific instructions on how to prepare for your surgery, including taking or not taking medications, fasting, what you need to bring with you, etc. Failure to follow instructions may result in the cancellation of your surgery.

Things to remember:

  1. One business day before your surgery, call the hospital to confirm the time you are expected to arrive (for example: if your surgery is on Monday, call on Friday).
  2. Bring any requested forms, your PEI Health Card, and private health insurance (if applicable) with you on the day of your surgery.
  3. If you have a known history of an antibiotic resistant organism (MRSA or VRE) or a Latex allergy, advise your surgeon as soon as possible prior to your surgery date.
  4. If you are sick within a few days before your surgery, contact your surgeon or family physician. If you are cancelling your surgery, contact the Surgical Booking Office as soon as possible:
    Queen Elizabeth Hospital:   (902) 894-2239
    Prince County Hospital:       (902) 438-4470
    A 24 hour advance notice would allow time for another patient to be rescheduled in your place.
  5. If you experience any unusual symptoms after your discharge from the hospital, go to the nearest Emergency Department

How can I avoid other illnesses while in hospital?

Patients in hospital have weaker immune systems and are more susceptible to infection caused by everyday germs. You can help reduce the spread of infection by:

  • washing your hands thoroughly and often;
  • using alcohol-based hand sanitizer that is available throughout the hospital, especially when you enter and exit; and
  • informing health care staff if you have a communicable illness (such as antibiotic resistance organisms (MRSA or VRE).

Will I have to share a room with another patient?

You can request a private or semi-private room; however, they are not always available. Patients requiring rooms for medical reasons have priority.

Check with your private insurance company to find out what your health insurance covers. If you don’t have insurance, you will be responsible for the additional cost of the room. You can inquire about rate and availability at the admitting department.

  • Private:  one bed, a washroom and a telephone
  • Semi-private:  two beds separated by a curtain, shared bathroom and two telephones
  • Ward (no additional cost):  four beds separated by curtains, shared washroom and four telephones

How do I activate room telephone and television service?

Patients can arrange for telephone and television service while in hospital. You can ask staff for more information on how to access these services.

Will I be able to continue my religious practice while in hospital? 

Hospital chaplains provide spiritual and religious care to patients, families and staff. You will be invited to register a church name and affiliation when you are admitted to hospital so that you can receive appropriate spiritual care. Hospitals also partner with community-based spiritual care leaders for support after hours.

What will happen when I go home from hospital?

Once you are discharged from hospital, you should arrange to leave by 11:00 am. Ask your health care provider about follow-up care instructions and medication.

When can I visit a patient?

Family/partners in care can visit patients at any time as decided by the patient and in coordination with the health care team. Visitors can call the front desk or switchboard, or check with a health care provider before visiting a patient. Learn more about Family Presence and what you should know before visiting a patient.


Published date: 
March 28, 2017
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If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency department.

If you are unsure what to do about a health issue or if you need health information, call 8-1-1.

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