The P.E.I. government's refusal to review its policy on out-of-province medical costs is another sign of misplaced priorities, says Opposition health critic James Aylward.

James Aylward - custom

If the P.E.I. government was in a better fiscal position it could provide more medical services on the Island, says James Aylward, and people wouldn't have to travel.

Nearly 10,000 Islanders received medical treatment in either Nova Scotia or New Brunswick last year, and the vast majority of them had to cover every penny of their travel costs.

Aylward told CBC News Friday that places an unfair burden on Island families. He said he understands government can't afford to pay for all the costs, but he said more help is needed.

"For Islanders, I mean right from the get-go, they have to pay just to get off the Island," he said.

"At the very least - at the very, very, very least - the cost to either take the ferry or the bridge should be covered."

Aylward said if the province had better control of its finances more health services could be provided on P.E.I.

Aylward noted Islanders often hold benefits or other fundraisers for people who need help with medical expenses. He said the government needs to do its part as well.