If you have a valid PEI Health Card, you do not have to pay for medically necessary hospital services in Prince Edward Island.
What hospitals are in Prince Edward Island?
PEI has seven hospitals.
Two main hospitals:
Four community hospitals:
- Souris Hospital in Souris
- Kings County Memorial Hospital in Montague
- Community Hospital O'Leary in O'Leary
- Western Hospital in Alberton
One in-patient psychiatric hospital:
- Hillsborough Hospital in Charlottetown
The two main hospitals provide inpatient, outpatient, community and specialty services. Community hospitals typically include acute (short-term) care, extended care and community-based services.
When should I go to an emergency department versus a walk-in clinic?
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).
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, seven days a week.
What if I need non-urgent care?
If you are sick, but it is not urgent, call your family doctor or nurse practitioner first.
- If you do not have a family doctor, visit a walk-in clinic nearest you or, if you're registered for virtual health care, book an appointment online with Maple.
- If these options are unavailable to you, go to the nearest emergency department.
If you need non-urgent mental health support:
- call the Mental Health and Addictions Phone Line at 1-833-553-6983 or
- visit a mental health walk-in clinic.
If you need sexual health, pregnancy, or reproductive services:
Health PEI offers many other services for Islanders with and without a family doctor.
- See Find Health Care for more information.
What diagnostic services are available at PEI hospitals?
- breast cancer screening
- CT scan (computed tomography)
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
- general radiography
- nuclear medicine exam
- laboratory services
For more information see Diagnostic Imaging Services.
How can I protect myself and others from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases while at the hospital?
Patients in hospital have weaker immune systems and are more susceptible to infectious diseases.
- Wear a face mask. Health PEI requires visitors to all Health PEI facilities, including hospitals, to wear a face mask.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer that contains 60% - 80% alcohol.
- Use the alcohol-based hand sanitizer available throughout the hospital, especially when you enter and exit the facility;
- Do not touch your face (eyes, nose, mouth) with unwashed hands.
- Tell health care staff if you have a communicable illness such as a known history of an antibiotic resistant organism (MRSA or VRE).
What if I don't speak English?
If you do not speak English, interpretation services are available. This service is offered to newcomer, immigrant and Francophone patients and their families.
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 should I know when preparing for surgery?
Most surgeries performed are day surgeries which means you 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, 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.
What should I bring for a stay in a hospital?
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.
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. 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 religion so that you receive appropriate spiritual care. Hospitals also partner with community-based spiritual care leaders for support after hours.
Is there a chance that I might be asked to transfer to another hospital?
Your health care team will develop a plan of care that is right for you. In some cases, this may include a transfer to another Island hospital where you will continue to receive the care you need. Learn more about hospital transfers.
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.