More Islanders matched with primary care provider
A recent effort to connect more Islanders with a primary health care provider has shown positive results.
Approximately 3,500 Islanders have been removed from the provincial patient registry since October 2016, meaning that 96 per cent of Islanders now have a dedicated primary care provider. By comparison, 84.5 per cent of Canadians have a primary care provider.
“As our Island population has grown and aged, it has put pressure on our physicians and created challenges for many residents in accessing a family doctor,” Health and Wellness Minister Robert Henderson said. “I am extremely proud of the significant amount of work that has been done to improve our patient registry and connect more Islanders to primary care providers, which will help ensure better access to health services all across Prince Edward Island.”
A working group of primary care providers and health administrators identified opportunities to match Islanders from the patient registry with primary care providers across the province. As part of the audit process, Islanders on the patient registry were contacted by phone, email, and mail to reconfirm their need for a primary care provider. As a result, there are now 6,880 Islanders on the registry, and 361 of those have a primary care provider but are seeking a new one.
“I am pleased with the tremendous progress we have made with the patient registry in just a few months, improving access to family physicians and nurse practitioners for Islanders," said Dr. André Celliers, chief of Family and Community Medicine. “Working closely with family physicians and nurse practitioners has been key to reducing the registry list.”
Moving forward, Health PEI has developed a plan to match an additional 3,000 to 3,500 Islanders with a primary care provider over the next year. It is also working with primary care providers to develop a physician resource plan, identifying physicians who intend to retire in the coming years so that recruitment efforts can begin earlier and patients can transition from one provider to another seamlessly.
Islanders who need a primary care provider are encouraged to contact the patient registry toll-free at 1-855-563-2101 or visit Patient Registry.
The Patient Registry Program helps connect Islanders who have just moved to Prince Edward Island or have relocated within the province to a family doctor or nurse practitioner accepting new patients.
The current break down of active individuals on the patient registry is:
• Kings County: 470
• Queens County: 4,200
• Prince County: 2,210
An average of 5,000 new applicants join the registry annually.
People waiting to be assigned a primary care provider can access many primary care and health screening services that support their health and well-being without referral, including:
• Provincial Colorectal Cancer Screening Program
• Provincial Cervical Cancer Screening and Prevention Program
• Provincial Breast Cancer Screening Program
• Diabetes Program
• Registered Dietician Service
• Primary Care Register Nurse service
• Women’s Wellness Program
Senior Communications Officer