PEI to launch IT initiative to support in-home care
March 14, 2018
CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI – Prince Edward Island has signed a five-year, $20 million health agreement with the federal government that will fund new programs for mental health and home care.
Three interrelated projects are being developed which will build on the capacity within the Island’s paramedic community to support in-home care. These new initiatives include rapid bridging models, which will support patients transitioning home from hospital and those seeking palliative care at home.
As well, a new home care IT (information technology) infrastructure initiative will be put into action over the five years of the agreement, as well as a new standardized client assessment tool for individuals seeking home or long term care.
Premier Wade MacLauchlan (pictured) and Health and Wellness Minister Robert Mitchell joined federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor last month to sign the first five years of the agreement, which outlines funding for home and community care as well as mental health and addictions.
“We are working to establish a responsive, accessible, and sustainable healthcare system for all Islanders,” Premier MacLauchlan said. “The health and the well being of Islanders is a priority for this government, representing 36 percent of the province’s expenditures. We need to respond to the needs of today, while building a sustainable healthcare system for tomorrow.”
“Strengthening mental health services for Islanders has, and continues to be at the forefront of our priorities,” Minister Mitchell said. “We have been able to establish many new initiatives to support Islanders struggling with mental illness, such as our mental health walk-in clinics, expanding our seniors mental health resource teams, behavior support teams for families, and our new mental health day treatment program for youth.
The province has also committed to establish a mobile mental health crisis response program, which would provide 24-7 mobile supports for individuals facing a mental health crisis.
Mobile crisis response teams are a leading approach to providing mental health and addiction services at the community level. Details are still be developed, however, the new model will connect police and other first points of contact with health professionals when responding to a mental health crisis situation.
“Our efforts are aimed at strengthening our system and finding innovative ways to better support Islanders when they are in a time of medical need,” the premier said. “It is a collaboration that will help us work together to strengthen our mental health and addictions services and enhance access to care in our communities and homes, when and where Islanders need it most.”
The initial agreement is for $20 million over the first five years; a subsequent agreement will be signed in 2021 for approximately $25 million for the remaining five years.
There are parameters for how the federal funding can be used, including the fact that the targeted funding must be invested into new and innovative approaches; funding cannot be used to subsidize existing services.