HUNTSVILE — Muskoka’s hospital towns are welcoming a recommendation that they continue as is to be the two full-service sites of Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC).
Wednesday afternoon, a MAHC task force surprised some by endorsing the communities’ call for the status quo to remain in place going ahead.
Some expected the group to call for one site.
The task force recommended a two acute care site model to the MAHC board.
This model supports the continued delivery of a full range of emergency, inpatient and surgical services at both the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital in Bracebridge and the Huntsville District Memorial Hospital.
The MAHC hospital board is expected to endorse the recommendation, which is to be released in full Friday, Aug. 10.
That goes to the province who will make the final decision – which could still be one super hospital or two sites with shared services.
In a joint release from the towns Thursday, Aug. 9, they say Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith said: “With this decision, the task force has recognized the importance of maintaining the two facilities in Bracebridge and Huntsville. I look forward to the (hospital) board’s support for the recommendation brought forward by the task force.”
Huntsville Mayor Scott Aitchison added: “I have said on many occasions that a fully functional acute care hospital is a must in both Huntsville and Bracebridge. The discontinuation of any areas of service would have a severe impact on our communities and I am pleased to strongly support the recommendation brought forward by the task force.”
Smith and Aitchison were members of the task force the past year.
They will be in attendance when the MAHC board of directors announces its decision regarding the recommendation by the task force.
In August 2017, Muskoka Algonquin Health Care (MAHC) established a Capital Plan Development Task Force to make recommendations to the MAHC board of directors regarding the preferred model for the delivery of acute care hospital services for Muskoka and the entire MAHC catchment area.
The task force was established with broad membership including representatives from the MAHC Board, administration and medical staff; the hospital foundations and auxiliaries; primary care; area municipalities; Muskoka and Area Health System Transformation (MAHST); the North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN; and the greater Muskoka community.