The first collaborative emergency centre in P.E.I. opens Monday evening at the Western Hospital in Alberton.

The new centre is designed to operate as a normal emergency department during the day, but from 8 p.m. until 8 a.m. will be staffed by emergency nurses and paramedics with specialized training.

They will consult by phone with an on-call doctor.

It is similar to the collaborative emergency centre model adopted by Nova Scotia.

For the last several months, the emergency department at Western Hospital has only been open 14 hours a day because there weren't enough doctors to cover the overnight shifts.

Health PEI officials said that since local physicians won't have to take overnight ER shifts, they should have time to see more patients in their offices.