FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 6, 2022
Statement by Honourable Peter Bevan-Baker on the unacceptable absence of the Minister of Health Ernie Hudson during the unprecedented rise in COVID cases
Prince Edward Island is facing the biggest threat to our healthcare capacity since the beginning of the COVID pandemic. Islanders are anxious and are asking many important questions about how prepared we are to face this unprecedented rise in cases on our small Island. This is a time we should be hearing from the person in charge of our healthcare system but for some unexplained reason, the Minister of Health is nowhere to be found.
Every other province in Canada has regularly heard from their Minister of Health. During briefings these Ministers provided updates about responses to the pandemic, outlining plans and providing scientific evidence showing their response is appropriate and adequate to meet the pandemic confidently. PEI’s Minister of Health Ernie Hudson is conspicuously and embarrassingly absent from our health briefings.
The King Conservatives have major problems in health. We are already struggling to maintain services in healthcare and the recent rise in cases is threatening to collapse our already fragile system. In today’s briefing we learned CPHO is using national data modeling to determine a response to COVID here in PEI. Do we have capacity on the Island to meet the increased demand Omicron will put on our healthcare system?
ERs regularly close or are over capacity. Wait times for procedures continue to grow. Many Islanders are fearful that their treatments and procedures will be cancelled or delayed if this government does not have a plan in place to ensure case counts are flattened.
To date we have heard nothing from our Minister of Health to suggest that there is a plan to meet this rising threat. Where is the Minister? Why isn’t he sharing his plan for healthcare and demonstrating the scientific evidence he is using to meet the demands and challenges we are facing as a province? This is unacceptable.
Minister Hudson has a moral and ethical responsibility to competently lead our healthcare system. He has an obligation to explain to the Islanders he serves how he is ensuring we have the capacity to meet this rise in cases of COVID.
By continuing to be absent and unavailable, the Minister is ducking his responsibility to be accountable to the public. He must make himself available to provide clear answers and assurances to Islanders. It is the job he was appointed to by the Premier.
On behalf of Islanders I am asking:
Premier King, why aren’t you demanding your Minister do the job he was appointed to do?
Minister Hudson, will you finally make an appearance and explain why healthcare capacity has not improved under your watch?
Honourable Peter Bevan-Baker, MLA New Haven – Rocky Point
Leader of the Official Opposition