Supporters of Stewart Memorial Hospital in Tyne Valley say the P.E.I. government is moving too quickly to convert the hospital into a long-term care facility, creating confusion for the community, residents and staff.

Pam MacKinnon, president of the Stewart Memorial Hospital Auxilliary, told CBC News Friday the community had been told by Health Minister Doug Currie the conversion would take place this fall. When it started this week, residents and staff were given less than 24 hours notice said MacKinnon.


Conversion of the Stewart Memorial Hospital to a long-term care facility is happening much more quickly than expected, says the president of the hospital auxiliary. (Province of P.E.I.)

"I don't think there was any forethought or planning," she said.

"The blood work services, people were arriving, there was 14 people I believe the next day after the announcement that were awaiting blood work services … The technicians didn't even really know what to do."

MacKinnon said many questions are left unanswered, including what will happen with equipment which was paid for through fundraising in the community, including a new x-ray machine which she said hasn't been used yet.

The group also wants to know whether any ambulatory care services can be maintained through the local health clinic.

"In February, when they had done the nine-month transition team and they came out with this beautiful piece of paper they had researched to say these are transferrable services to the medical clinic and these are not, we want those essential services that they listed," said MacKinnon.

The auxiliary was expecting a public meeting to discuss those services, but now it is not clear if any of them will be transferred. MacKinnon said the clinic would require renovations or an expansion in order for some of the services to be moved there.

Health PEI has done a poor job communicating its plans to the community, she said.

A meeting was held in the community Thursday night to discuss what to do next. Community members want a meeting with senior officials from Health PEI to discuss the situation.