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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Muskoka's health care future is bright with a two-site hospital

An open letter to our communities,

Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC) is working through Stage 1 Proposal planning, one of five distinct stages in the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care¡¯s capital planning process for hospitals. Stage 1 has been a new chapter in MAHC¡¯s planning for the future work and involves more detailed planning and analysis of potential models for the future, supported by a $1 million planning grant. This planning has been a collaborative process with many partners, including extensive input from all corners of our communities, led by the MAHC Capital Plan Development Task Force.

On August 8, 2018, the Task Force presented its findings to the Board of Directors, supported by a 30-plus page report posted on our website. The Task Force¡¯s recommendation was for a Two Acute Sites service delivery model. Following final deliberations, the Board endorsed the recommendation for Two Acute Sites, which replaces the 2015 recommendation for one hospital centrally located.

This decision represents a major milestone and the halfway mark in the Stage 1 planning. The Two Acute Sites service delivery model includes a full range of emergency, inpatient and surgical services at each site, 61 more inpatient beds including a new stroke rehabilitation unit, and also proposes the addition of MRI technology. The next step is for the Task Force to focus on the physical design of the Two Acute Sites model: how the sites are built through new construction or renovation (or a combination), where they are specifically sited, and how the community will pay for its share. Once that work is complete next year, the Two Acute Sites plan goes to the Ministry for approval for MAHC to continue on to the next stage in the lengthy capital planning process.

Required investments in our buildings and medical equipment needs are significant today and will continue while the future planning work gets more refined over the next several years. A defined plan for the future is important to ensuring infrastructure investments are tailored so they best support the overall capital plan.

We need your support today and in the future of our two-site hospital. Fundraising is critical to our ability to provide outstanding patient care today, tomorrow and in the future. On behalf of the MAHC Board, thank you for your continued support of our capital needs through donations to our Auxiliaries and Foundations. Thank you for your involvement in this planning process, your input and your support of this future direction.

We hope the Two Acute Sites model is one that everyone can truly get behind, so that together we can sustain the needs of our two sites and convince the Ministry that a two-site hospital is what Muskoka and East Parry Sound needs and deserves in the future.

Yours in health,

Philip Matthews
Chair, MAHC Board of Directors
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