A policy change will allow paramedics on P.E.I. to take trauma patients directly to one of the Island's two larger hospitals.
Soon, Island EMS will begin re-routing serious trauma patients from Kings County Memorial and Western Hospital directly to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital or Prince County Hospital.
Traumas include serious car accidents, major broken bones and amputations.
The province said the change means those patients will get the care they need, faster.
"Some of our community hospitals don't have the surgical suites or the capacity to provide MRIs and CT scans required in effective and efficient trauma care," Health Minister Doug Currie said Friday.
A health official said research shows the best outcomes are delivered when a patient receives care at a major trauma centre.
Island EMS said since many trauma patients are brought to smaller community hospitals, stabilized, and then transferred to bigger hospitals anyway because they have the proper equipment and specialized services needed for trauma patient care, directly transferring patients to bigger hospitals will save precious time.
Opposition Leader Olive Crane said the decision to divert patient traffic from rural hospitals will further weaken them.
"Obviously this is a change in policy, in moving very much to the direction of having two emergency services only in Prince Edward Island," Crane said Friday outside the legislature.
But Currie disputed that claim.
"No, this has nothing to do with health care delivery in rural Prince Edward Island. This is really about trauma care," he said.
Paramedics will need to be trained in the new policy before it comes into effect. Island EMS said that should happen in about a month's time.