CanadaPrince Edward Island bilateral agreement to strengthen health care


February 2018

Today, the Government of Canada and the Government of Prince Edward Island (PEI) signed a bilateral agreement outlining how PEI plans to invest more than $20 million in targeted federal funding to improve access to home and community care, and mental health and addiction services. This agreement covers the first five years of a $45 million, 10-year federal health funding commitment. In 2021-22, this agreement will be renewed for the remaining 5 years of the 10-year commitment.

In alignment with the principles and objectives noted in the Common Statement of Principles, the Government of Prince Edward Island will pursue the following programs to enhance access to services in home and community care, and mental health and addiction services.

Home and Community Care

  • The Mobile Integrated Health Program will be delivered through three inter-related projects that use and build on the capacity and expertise within PEI's paramedic community. This represents a substantial increase in front line capacity that will bridge gaps in the continumm of patient care. New initiatives will be integrated into home care management plans to support patients transitioning home from hospital and those seeking palliative care at home.
  • The Home Care IT Infrastructure Initiative will implement a cost-effective, cloud-based electronic medical record (EMR) tool to support the needs of patients, health care providers, and administrators within the home care system. EMRs enable better care by providing all involved clinicians (home care nurses, paramedics, and other care providers) with appropriate real-time access to client medical information. This investment will improve communication and coordination of care and care planning between acute care, home care and emergency health services.
  • The Implementation Plan for the International Resident Assessment Instrument (InterRAI) will standardize client assessment and ensure consistency and evidence-informed decision-making. The Resident Assessment Instrument is a suite of more than 20 tools that support the assessment of an individual's needs for home support services. This investment responds to the recommendations in PEI's Caring for Our Seniors Report, published in 2016.

Mental Health and Addiction Services

  • The Student Well-being Program is establishing and embeding multi-disciplinary teams within schools across the island to advise, consult and provide direct service to children and youth who are struggling with mental, social and physical health issues. Registered nurses with mental health training are providing mental health counseling to students with non-acute mental health needs and serve as navigators within the community mental health system for those students with more acute needs. This program is providing access to non-acute mental health and addiction services to more than 20,000 students, and will also provide them with a streamlined point of access into the formal mental health and addiction system when needed.
  • The Mobile Mental Health Crisis Program will establish a 24-7 provincial mobile mental health crisis program composed of highly trained mental health professionals. Mobile crisis teams are a leading approach to providing mental health and addiction services to people in crisis at the community level. Under the proposed model, new teams of clinicians will be connected with police and other first points of contact for individuals in mental health crisis. These teams will provide 24-7 rapid response care to support more appropriate mental health care for individuals in need.

Federal Provincial and Territorial Collaboration to Strengthen Health Care

Budget 2017 committed $11 billion over 10 years in new federal investments to improve access to mental health and addiction services, as well as to home and community care across Canada. Provinces and territories already received the first year of this funding through a legislated transfer following their endorsement of the Common Statement of Principles on Shared Health Priorities*. Funding for the remaining years will flow to provinces and territories through a series of bilateral agreements.

The Common Statement of Principles sets out the objectives and pan-Canadian priorities for federal investments in home care and mental health. It commits governments to addressing specific health system gaps and to focusing efforts in areas that will have the greatest impact. Bilateral agreements will set out details of how federal funding will be used in alignment with the Common Statement of Principles. As of August 2017, provinces and territories accepted their share of the $11 billion in federal health funding.

Provinces and territories have also committed to working with the Canadian Institute for Health Information to develop a focused set of common indicators to measure progress and report to Canadians.

* The federal government has agreed to an asymmetrical arrangement with Quebec, distinct from the Common Statement of Principles.

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