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As the controversy over the new medical school grows, I want to make the Liberal

position on this matter very clear: We are in favor of any idea that improves

access to health care.

Over the last several years, the crisis in health care has grown steadily worse.

In early January, it was reported that more than 36,000 Islanders are now on a list

– waiting for a family doctor. We are now in a worse position than any province in

Canada when it comes to this kind of basic health care access.

This is a crisis, to say the very least.

In October of 2022, Premier Dennis King announced the work on a medical

school. The projected cost was $129 million.

And every Islander was assured that this major announcement – this huge

investment of tax dollars – was part of the answer to the challenge of health care


Like nearly every Islander, I took the government at its word. And like nearly

every Islander, I shared a great sense of optimism that a medical school would

form part of the answer to our worsening crisis.

Furthermore, the great challenge of launching a new medical school really hit a

major chord. In so many ways, I felt a great sense of pride at the idea that we

would be able to educate and train new doctors – and that we could keep them

here on the Island.

However, in recent weeks the concerns have grown.

First, a government report strongly suggested that a medical school could drain

much-needed resources from Islander.

The former Chief Executive Office at Health PEI has said that he resigned his

position – in part – over worries that the medical school could seriously damage

Island health care.

And to this point, neither I nor any Islander has heard any clear explanation from

the provincial government that supports its early advocacy and current support

for the medical school.

Again, I very much want this concept to work. If a medical school will address

these shortages, this will be a magnificent development. And again, I share the

pride of many Islanders that we may be able to successfully launch this ambitious


But – I am also extremely concerned with the capacity of the current government

to handle this project.

There are too many issues that have been left to get worse for me to be


Examples include:

  • The growing crisis in health care access

  • The lack of a strategy to deal with the pressures of our current

  • A housing crisis that continues to get worse

  • Cost of living pressures that are hurting every Islander

So – my support for the medical school remains. But there are many, many

questions to be answered. And I am growing quite concerned that a potential lack

of due diligence, planning and foresight may leave us with a white elephant that

will cost Islanders for many years to come.

Hal Perry

Leader of the Official Opposition


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