CEO Message: Supporting Critical Care on PEI

Dear staff,  

There will be several media stories tonight and this weekend about what is happening at PCH and how critical care is affected across the province. We know reading and hearing about our healthcare system in media may be anxiety-invoking – every part of the story can feel personal, both as a citizen and a healthcare worker.

I want to share with you as much information as possible directly as we go through this process. 

As many of you know, there has been some strong advocacy for the services at the PCH by the East Prince Medical Association, who wrote a public letter addressing their concerns. There have also been statements by the City of Summerside and residents about the situation. I thank them all for sharing their voices and being partners in finding solutions to the staffing shortages at the root of our issues. 

Health PEI leadership shares the goal of growing services and staffing at PCH with the PCH physician community and residents. A strong PCH with critical care services is needed for all Islanders – we fully agree.  

I need to be clear here: There is absolutely no plan to permanently reduce services at PCH. 

As I said to the media today and in my message to staff last night, the temporary changes being made right now are intended to reduce the pressure on staff at PCH who have been shouldering a heavy workload since the ICU changes that happened last spring. These staff have gone above and beyond and need our support. They need more staff on board to provide services, and they need Health PEI leaders to listen and act on their concerns. We are committed to doing that. 

The road to rebuilding services is not an easy one – we face tough competition to recruit the needed staff and physicians. However, I welcome the suggestion from the East Prince Medical Staff Association that we work together to enhance recruitment. As working physicians and advocates for the hospital, the association members are the ideal partners in recruiting more physicians to Summerside.  

Focusing on recruitment, retention, and righting the workloads of existing staff are crucial to our success in growing staff and services at PCH.  

While so much of this story has been focused on the PCH, I do need to acknowledge the system-wide efforts being made to support patients from Prince County in this temporary transition. QEH teams have been and continue to work diligently to be prepared to care for those patients who must be transferred, and our leadership teams, union partners, IEMS, and all staff are devoted to ensuring both sites have the resources they need as soon as possible.    

Thank you to those who are so dedicated to maintaining safe care now and building a strong, resilient healthcare system together. 


Please send questions, comments, or submissions for these notes to, subject line “CEO Notes”.

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