The recruitment of a new cardiologist to the province has allowed for the addition of more heart health services that Islanders can access closer to home, says Minister of Health and Wellness Robert Henderson.
“We are very pleased to have this new specialist practicing in our province,” said Minister Henderson. “It means more timely diagnosis and follow-up care for Island patients and less stress for families who may already be going through a difficult time.”
Cardiologist Dr. Alex MacLean began working as a member of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s (QEH) internal medicine department last fall, allowing the hospital to offer a number of new heart-specific diagnostic tests not previously available on Prince Edward Island. The new diagnostic services include transesophageal echocardiogram, stress echocardiogram and dobutamine stress echocardiogram.
Prior to these services being offered on Prince Edward Island, approximately 300 Islanders travelled to hospitals in Moncton, Saint John or Halifax every year.
“We are very fortunate to have Dr. MacLean as part of our team,” said Debbie Downe, QEH Ambulatory Care Centre manager. “More importantly, as a result of Dr. MacLean’s expertise, we are able to offer important cardiac diagnostic tests here on PEI that can lead to more timely diagnoses and treatment interventions to improve the quality of life for Islanders with heart conditions or risk factors for heart conditions.”
“’I am happy to be able to provide these tests to my fellow Islanders, on the Island,” said Dr. MacLean. “I am also grateful of the support provided by the QEH Foundation that enabled the equipment for these tests to be purchased.’”
A transesophageal echocardiogram uses high-frequency sound waves to obtain detailed images of the heart and arteries that lead to and from it. This allows a cardiologist to determine if there are problems with the heart’s structure and function.
A stress echocardiogram and dobutamine stress echocardiogram are tests that use ultrasound imaging to show how well the heart muscle is working before and after physical activity.
All cardiac diagnostic services are offered in the Ambulatory Care Centre at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.