3,500 Islanders removed from provincial patient registry

About 3,500 Islanders have been removed from the provincial patient registry since October, but almost 7,000 are still looking for a primary-care provider.

Number of Islanders searching for primary-care provider stands at 6,880

The provincial patient registry, which connects Islanders with a family doctor or a nurse practitioner, stands at 6,880 P.E.I. residents. (iStockphoto)

About 3,500 people have been removed from the provincial patient registry since October, Health PEI says.

The registry, which connects Islanders with a family doctor or a nurse practitioner, still includes 6,880 P.E.I. residents.

Dr. André Celliers, chief of family and community medicine, said a working group of administrators, family doctors and nurse practitioners has made a concerted effort to get the list down. About 1,000 people left the list on their own, he said. 

The effort was as simple as contacting people on the list by phone, email and mail to confirm they still wanted a primary-care provider, and working closely with family physicians and nurse practitioners.  

Asked why this wasn't happening before, Celliers only reiterated that it was a concerted effort.

'Quick, seamless process'

Health PEI is also working to more quickly identify physicians who plan to retire, so recruitment efforts can be made earlier.

"There will always be people waiting on the registry, but we hope to make this a quick, seamless process in the future," Celliers said. 

Most of the people still on the list live in Charlottetown. The break-down by county is 4,200 in Queens, 2,210 in Prince and 470 in Kings. About 360 people on the list already have a health-care provider, but are seeking a new one.

About 5,000 people are added to the list annually as people move to P.E.I. or doctors retire.

Aim to match 3,000 more

Cellier said 96 per cent of Islanders have a dedicated primary-care provider, compared to 84.5 per cent of people across Canada.

Health PEI's goal is to match an additional 3,000 to 3,500 people over the next year.

Islanders who need a primary care provider can contact the patient registry toll-free at 1-855-563-2101 or visit www.healthpei.ca/patientregistry.

Celliers said people waiting for a primary-care provider can still access these programs and services:

  • Provincial colorectal cancer screening program. 
  • Provincial cervical cancer screening and prevention program.
  • Provincial breast cancer screening program.
  • Diabetes program.
  • Registered dietician service.
  • Primary care register nurse service.
  • Women's wellness program.

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With files from Island Morning