PARRY SOUND-MUSKOKA — Riding hospitals will receive more than $16 million from the province to cover past, present and future costs related to daily COVID operations.

Funding that will put Muskoka’s two hospitals on “solid financial footing moving forward,” says it retiring president and CEO, Natalie Bubela.

Funding includes $8,432,300 for the West Parry Sound Health Centre and $7,712,500 for Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare in Bracebridge and Huntsville.

“I am very pleased to see the Ontario government provide this funding to support small and medium-sized hospitals throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Parry Sound – Muskoka MPP Norm Miller, in a release Monday. “This funding will help to financially stabilize our hospitals, which in turn will allow them to prepare for the future.”

This funding is a part of more than $1.2 billion investment previously announced to help hospitals recover from financial pressures created and worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, while ensuring they can continue providing the high-quality care Ontarians need and deserve. This funding will also help to ensure that Ontario’s hospitals are able to respond to any scenario as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves.

Bubela said the release that this working capital increase will stabilize operations, erase the long-standing capital deficit MAHC faced and will put it on solid financial footing moving forward.

“A financially stable health care organization is vital now more than ever and we are very appreciative of this recognition from the provincial government and the ongoing support of MPP Miller.”

Donald Sanderson, CEO of WPSHC, added: “West Parry Sound Health Centre is grateful to MPP Norm Miller and the government of Ontario for this significant funding announcement that recognizes a historic working capital deficit that has challenged our hospital for many years.

“Just as hospitals improve the health of our community, this investment will improve the financial health of our hospital and position us for continued success as we provide vital health programs and services in a post pandemic world.”

Area hospitals received previously announced funding to help cope with COVID.