P.E.I. puts up $2.4M for doctors to cover office closures

The P.E.I. government has announced a new fund that the opposition Liberals are calling CERB for doctors.

Health minister was concerned some doctors might leave

Health Minister James Aylward couldn't say how many doctors would receive compensation in the plan. (Government of P.E.I.)

The P.E.I. government has announced a new fund that the opposition Liberals are calling CERB for doctors.

The $2.4 million fund is designed to compensate fee-for-service doctors whose offices were shut down during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

P.E.I. Health Minister James Aylward said he was worred without the compensation, some doctors would leave.

"Physicians are in high demand. They're hard to recruit," said Aylward.

"We needed to ensure that our physicians that are employed here on Prince Edward Island were going to be financially in a position that they can continue on, and as we ease out of the pandemic or out of the public health emergency, state of emergency, in various phases, that these individuals would be in a position where they could start their practices back up."

In question period Tuesday, Liberal MLA Robert Henderson asked what Island patients received in return for the spending.

Aylward said some of the doctors involved provided telehealth services and some worked in COVID-19 cough and fever clinics. 

Aylward could not say how many doctors would share the funding. In the legislature in November, Aylward said the province had 78 full-time equivalent doctor positions that were fee-for-service.

More from CBC P.E.I.


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