Abortion, other services, coming to Women's Wellness Centre in Summerside
Prince County Hospital getting $5.35M expansion
The P.E.I. government has announced a Women's Wellness Centre will be built at the Prince County Hospital in Summerside.
The centre will be part of a $5.35 million expansion of Prince County hospital, which will include an expansion of the ambulatory care centre.
The centre will "provide person-centered care for Island women in need of specialized reproductive and sexual health services," said Health Minister Robert Henderson in a news release.
The centre will also include "pregnancy termination," though CBC reporter Brian Higgins noted provincial officials skirted saying those words out loud at the news conference.
No one has said "pregnancy termination" out loud. It's in the written media statement. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PEI?src=hash">#PEI</a> <a href="https://t.co/qhI8BP92Z4">pic.twitter.com/qhI8BP92Z4</a>—@BrianHigginsCBC
Dr. Lana Beth Barkhouse, who led the advisory group on the centre, did address it.
She said it. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PEI?src=hash">#PEI</a> <a href="https://t.co/8tAMg0V2q0">pic.twitter.com/8tAMg0V2q0</a>—@BrianHigginsCBC
On-Island abortion services
The province promised in March it would establish a women's health centre.
That commitment was in response to pressure to provide abortion services on the Island for the first time in almost 35 years.
In January, abortion rights activists gave the government notice they would be filing a lawsuit to force the province to provide full and unrestricted access to publicly funded abortion services on the Island.
The centre will offer both surgical and medical abortions, but as the government said at the time, it will offer more than that, focusing on a whole range of issues connected with the reproductive health of women.
Range of services
The government announced the following services for the centre.
- Pre-natal and post-natal care for Islanders without a primary health care provider.
- Post-partum mental health services.
- Sexual health services including education, screening testing and treatment.
- Menopause care for Island women without a primary health care provider or patients with specialized needs.
- Pregnancy termination, including care and counseling.
- First trimester bleeding care.
- Information, navigation and coordination for Islanders seeking fertility treatment off-Island.
The Women's Wellness Centre will be supported family physicians, obstetricians-gynecologists, a nurse practitioner, registered nurses and a social worker.
New women's wellness programs at the hospital will be phased in starting in January, using temporary space in the hospital while new space is being built.
The construction work on the expansion is expected to take about 18 months.
Expansion of ambulatory care
The investment will also go towards an expansion of the hospital's ambulatory care centre.
The province noted there has been a significant increase in ambulatory care visits at the PCH. From 2011-12 to 2014-15 it is up 42 per cent.
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