P.E.I.'s new bilingual health card unveiled

The province of P.E.I. has unveiled a colourful new bilingual health card that will replace the old orange cards starting this week.

Photographer Stephen DesRoches calls the image a 'personal favourite'

The new health card is bilingual. (CBC)

The province of P.E.I. has unveiled a colourful new bilingual health card that will replace the old orange cards starting this week.

The new card features a photo of Darnley Shore taken by Island photographer Stephen DesRoches.

"It's kind of fun," said DesRoches, who only found out Monday his picture would appear on the card.

"I've kind of been joking that every Islander will own a print of mine and will, quite likely, be carrying it with them everywhere they go."

However, the P.E.I. photographer may not carry his own picture around in his wallet any time soon. He just received an old orange card as a renewal in the mail about a month ago.

"It's got an expiry date of 2021, so I might be the last one to get one," he joked.

P.E.I. photographer Stephen DesRoches said he took the image at Darnley Shore two summers ago. (CBC)

DesRoches took the photo, which he calls a "personal favourite," two summers ago amid high winds and high tide at a location commonly called teapot rock. Frequently commissioned by the province, he had previously submitted the photo for its scenic stock collection.

"It's what we view Prince Edward Island as," said DesRoches.

Old cards phased out over 5 years

Islanders with expired health cards will receive the new cards in the mail starting this week.

In the coming year, the card holder's preferred language of service will be indicated on the front of the card.

P.E.I. Health and Wellness Minister Robert Henderson says the province is working to provide more bilingual services. (CBC)

"The government has made every effort to try to provide as many services as we can to our francophone community and this is another step in that direction in trying to identify and be respectful of other languages in the province," said Health and Wellness Minister Robert Henderson.

"We think we can just provide a better health outcome to Islanders by having more timely information on the card."

A red heart on the back on the card will indicate the owner's intention to be a tissue and organ donor. It replaces the red sticker that is currently used.

The government expects the old cards will be phased out over the next five years as they expire. Health PEI and other organizations will accept the old cards as long as they are valid.

This is the first time the health card has been updated since it was introduced in 1995.


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