Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP Norm Miller talked about support from local healthcare leaders and thanked the Minister of Health for including the redevelopment of the Huntsville and Bracebridge Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare sites in the budget during the debate on Bill 74, the People’s Healthcare Act, on April 16.
Miller and Christine Elliott, minister of Health and Long Term Care, met with members of the Muskoka and Area Health Transformation council as well as other healthcare leaders from Parry Sound-Muskoka on March 11 in Bracebridge. Doctors, mental health workers, nurses, administrators and patients were present at the meeting. Miller said he has great respect for these individuals and all healthcare providers in Parry Sound-Muskoka and trusts them when they say that we are headed in the right direction.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank the Minister of Health for listening to the people of Muskoka and Almaguin,” said Miller. “Page 116 of this year’s budget lists hospital projects in the construction or planning stages. It includes redevelopment plans for both Bracebridge’s and Huntsville’s hospitals. This will come as a relief for many in Muskoka who know that timely access to their hospitals will save lives. I’m very pleased to see their voices have been heard.”
Miller described some of the challenges his constituents have faced in accessing care and situations where the patients fell through the cracks in the current system, saying that the system can and should be improved so that Ontario patients don’t have to wait any longer.
“Phil Matthews, who is the chair of the board of directors for Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare, heralded Bill 74 as ‘exactly the type of legislation they’ve been looking for,’ and described it as dovetailing exactly with the work they’ve been doing to create integrated care in their communities,” Miller said.
Miller also said that Natalie Bubela, CEO of MAHC, told the meeting that MAHC would be submitting “a collaborative application for an Ontario health team modelled around primary care that builds up the exceptional work previously done by the Muskoka and Area Health System Transformation group.”
To hear more of what Miller said during the debate, watch the video below.