A place with too many primary care doctors

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One of the many advantages of working with the Council of State Governments/Eastern Region is the opportunity to learn from our neighbors, especially north of the border. At times it seems that they have everything figured out, but not always. Prince Edward Island, like most Canadian provinces and the rest of the world, is facing skyrocketing health costs. The smallest province with only 141,000 residents, PEI has 94 general practice physicians. Like many governments facing skyrocketing health care budgets, the province hired consultants to outline options and make recommendations. Reportedly the consultants are focusing on reducing the number of physicians in the province up to 30% and expanding the role of nurses and nurse practitioners, although the report is not yet complete. As in other parts of the world, that suggestion is very controversial and politically charged. PEI’s health minister has stated that cutting the number of doctors is not an option.
Ellen Andrews