If you have a valid PEI Health Card, the cost of medically necessary hospital services in Prince Edward Island is covered. As a patient, you may access inpatient and outpatient 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 (especially a baby under six months).
If you are not feeling well and you cannot wait to schedule an appointment with your family doctor or nurse practitioner, 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.
How can I protect myself and others from COVID-19?
- Wear a non-medical face mask.
- Do not touch your face (eyes, nose, mouth) with unwashed hands.
- Maintain a physical distance of 2 meters (6 ft.) from other people.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer that contains 60% - 80% alcohol.
For more measures, please visit New Normal: Public Health Guidance.
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 how you can help us to provide you with the best and safest care possible.
What if I don't speak English?
Clear communication is essential for effective health service. If you do not speak English, interpretation services are available. This service is offered to newcomer, immigrant and francophone patients and their families.
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. It is also important to note whether or not you have medication allergies.
- Take all medications with you (in their original container), such as 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 the hospital may look different compared to those you take at home. If you have questions about your medication, either 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, and 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 which means you will return home the same day. Other surgeries may require you to stay in hospital so you can be monitored throughout 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 that include taking or not taking your medications, fasting, and what you need to bring with you, etc. Failure to follow instructions may result in the cancellation of your surgery.
Things to remember:
- 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 the hospital on Friday).
- Bring any requested forms, your PEI Health Card, and private health insurance (if you have private coverage) with you on the day of your surgery.
- 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.
- If you are sick a few days before your surgery, contact your surgeon or your family physician. If you need to cancel your surgery, contact the Surgical Booking Office as soon as possible:
Queen Elizabeth Hospital: (902) 894-2239
Prince County Hospital: (902) 438-4470
Note: Cancelling at least 24 hours before your surgery will allow enough notice to schedule another patient in your place.
- If you experience any unusual symptoms after you are discharged 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 the facility; and
- informing health care staff if you have a communicable illness (such as a known history of an antibiotic resistant organism (MRSA or VRE).
Will I have to share a room with another patient?
You can request a private room or a semi-private room; however, your first choice may not be available. Patients who require a specific room for medical reasons are given priority.
Private and semi-private rooms have an additional cost. Check with your private insurance company to find out what your health insurance covers. If you do not 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 the 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. When you are admitted to the hospital, you will be invited to register a church name and affiliation so that you 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 have been discharged from the hospital, you should arrange to leave by 11:00 a.m. Ask your health care provider about instructions for follow-up care 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.