Long-term care in Prince Edward Island will be reviewed by the provincial government, Health and Wellness Minister Robert Henderson told a provincial standing committee Tuesday.
Henderson said the province is hoping to shift more care away from facilities into people's homes.
Within eight years, Henderson said, almost one in four Islanders will be over the age of 65.
"When we're looking at trying to meet the demands of Islanders and a growing senior population, that's where we're looking at — How do we add more beds to the system, do we look at an assessment tool in comparison to other provinces, where do we locate those extra beds?" Henderson told reporters after the meeting.
There are 131 Islanders now waiting for long-term care.
Henderson also explained that the province wants to begin providing more care for Islanders in their own homes.
"We are under-funding home care in this province, and with our partnership with the federal government, hopefully we can address some of those issues and hopefully slow down this trend of people requiring long-term care services," Henderson said.P.E.I. has the third-highest number of home care beds per capita in the country — 105 beds per 1,000 people over the age of 75, Henderson said, while only spending about half the national average on home care.'We have it a bit backwards,' says P.E.I. Health and Wellness Minister Robert Henderson. (The Associated Press)
"It obviously would seem we have it a bit backwards, in where we're spending our money," Henderson said.
The new beds would likely be private beds, he noted. Once new manors are completed in Tyne Valley and Montague, Henderson said, the province does not plan to build more public facilities, but would work out deals with the private sector, which currently provides nearly half the nursing beds in the province now.
A bureaucrat in the department began the review Tuesday, Henderson revealed, but that person has no specified deadline to report back.