Prince County Hospital will receive $5.35 million expansion

Dr. Andre Celliers, Health PEI’s Chief of Family and Community Medicine and Hospital Services West; family physician and Co-Chair of the Women's Health Advisory Committee Dr. Lana Beth Barkhouse; Premier Wade MacLauchlan; and Minister Robert Henderson

A government investment of $5.35 million will enhance patient care services at Prince County Hospital (PCH). This investment will go towards expanding the Ambulatory Care Centre and introduction of a new Women’s Wellness Centre.

“Ambulatory care is one of the most significant growth areas in health care, as advancements in technologies and treatments allow more patients to be cared for in this manner instead of being admitted to hospital,” said Premier Wade MacLauchlan. “This expansion will create more space for patient services and will be the first major upgrade to the hospital since its opening.”

The volume of ambulatory care patients has increased significantly at Prince County Hospital. Between 2011/12 and 2014-15, PCH had a 42 per cent increase in visits to ambulatory care and some clinics had over 100 per cent growth.

Ambulatory care at PCH includes four main services: Nursing Care Suite, Oncology, Surgical Clinic, and Endoscopy. The current Ambulatory Care Centre is approximately 13,000 square feet and the expansion will add over 5,000 square feet of clinical space. As part of the expansion, a new Women’s Wellness Centre will be constructed at PCH and a new suite of services will be phased-in. Government will also expand a Women’s Wellness Program across the province in local communities.

“The new Women’s Wellness Centre will provide person-centered care for Island women in need of specialized reproductive and sexual health services,” said Minister of Health and Wellness Robert Henderson. “Aside from direct clinical care to Island women at PCH, the program will also include population-based services to women across the province in local communities.”

There are 55,055 women between 15 and 74 years of age on Prince Edward Island. This new centre will provide pre- and post-natal care for Island women without a primary health care provider. The Women’s Wellness Centre and Program will be supported by family physicians and obstetricians-gynecologists, as well as additional investments into frontline staff including: registered nurses, a nurse practitioner, a social worker, and administrative support staff.

“Careful consideration has been given to the breadth and depth of services to be provided as part of the new Women’s Wellness Centre and Program,” said family physician Dr. Lana Beth Barkhouse. “While considerable planning still lies ahead before services are fully in place, today’s announcement is a significant step forward in providing important and enhanced health services for Island women.”

Over the coming weeks, health and hospital staff, community stakeholders and partners will begin planning for the expansion of the Ambulatory Care Centre and new Women’s Wellness Centre at PCH, as well as community-based programming.

"At the PCH Foundation, we have always expressed our commitment to maintaining and improving the level of patient care at our hospital. An expansion to Ambulatory Care at the Prince County Hospital has been needed for some time to address a number of issues surrounding patient care and confidentiality,” said Sandy Rundle, President of the Prince County Hospital Foundation Board of Directors. “It is our mandate to raise funds for the medical equipment needed throughout PCH. We remain steadfast in our mission to keep the Prince County Hospital vibrant and viable for all who need it."

The expansion and renovations to PCH’s Ambulatory Care Centre will take approximately 18 months. Current ambulatory care services will continue as usual throughout the construction period.

The new Women’s Wellness Programs will be phased-in starting in January 2017. The clinical services will utilize temporary space within the PCH until the new Centre construction is complete, while the community-based programs will be located within existing primary health care facilities across the province.


About the Ambulatory Care Centre
The Prince County Hospital (PCH) service and space plan was developed using models from the 1990s when ambulatory care was gaining strength but there were few models to use as a planning guide. While a rapid growth of ambulatory capable procedures has allowed PCH to live within its bed complement, the service has outgrown its current space.
Since opening in 2014, Nursing Care Suite services have grown by 104% and patient volume by 59%; Oncology procedures increased by 75%, chemo treatments by 41% and specialty IV interventions by 249%; Surgical Clinic procedure growth is 16%; Endoscopy procedure growth is 12%.
Earlier this year a review of the Ambulatory Care Centre was completed. The review included an evaluation of the current space, a jurisdictional scan of best practices, stakeholder engagement and a framework for ambulatory care service in Prince Edward Island. The results of this review helped to guide the decision to expand and renovate the Ambulatory Care Centre at PCH.

The PCH Ambulatory Care Centre was chosen to house the new Women’s Wellness Centre for various reasons; PCH has the capacity to offer more specialty services, and the new services can be offered along with other ambulatory services in a modern clinical setting, while making the most effective use of health care resources.

About the Women’s Wellness Centre
On March 31, 2016 Government made a commitment to Islanders that it would establish a women’s health centre on Prince Edward Island.

Government directed Health PEI to commence planning for the new services, which was done in conjunction with two leading organizations, the Women’s Health Advisory Committee, and the Women’s Health Executive Working Group. In addition, a large number of partners and stakeholder groups were consulted throughout the planning process.

Services within the Women’s Wellness Program have been developed with the aim to improve the reproductive and sexual health and wellness of women through enhanced access. To achieve this, the distribution of resources will be based on a multi-tiered approached, in which services that impact the greatest proportion of the population will be delivered through primary care providers at the community level (e.g. sexually transmitted infection diagnosis and treatment, contraception), and specialized services will be provided in a hospital setting at PCH (e.g. coordination of Islanders seeking fertility treatment off-Island, pregnancy termination). Some services will be available both at the Women’s Wellness Centre and at the community level (e.g. first trimester bleeding care, post-partum mental health services).

The following core services will be provided as part of the new Women’s Wellness Program:
• pre-natal and post-natal care for Islanders without a primary health care provider

• post-partum mental health services

• sexual health services including education, screening testing and treatment

• menopause care for Island women without a primary health care provider or patients with specialized needs

• pregnancy termination, including care and counseling

• first trimester bleeding care

• information, navigation and coordination for Islanders seeking fertility treatment off-Island

Media contact:
Grant Palmer
Officer of the Premier
(902) 368-4400

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