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.
Over the past year, Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith and Huntsville Mayor Scott Aitchison have actively represented the municipalities in South and North Muskoka as members of the Task Force.
After careful study and thorough deliberations, the Task Force today recommended a Two Acute 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 Towns of Bracebridge and Huntsville have, for several years, strongly advocated locally, regionally and provincially for the continued delivery of acute care services based on the Two Site model.
The maintenance of these services is vital to the long-term sustainability of the communities and is crucial for the provision of adequate health care services for the residents and visitors in the Towns; the other communities in the Muskoka region; and the entire Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC) catchment area.
“Local councils and members of the community clearly support the maintenance of hospital services in both Bracebridge and Huntsville. Over several years, I have worked with municipal leaders to advocate for two acute care sites in Muskoka. With this decision, the Task Force has recognized the importance of maintaining the two facilities in Bracebridge and Huntsville. I look forward to the Board’s support for the recommendation brought forward by the Task Force,” said Mayor Graydon Smith.
Mayor Scott Aitchison commented, “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.”
The Mayors of Bracebridge and Huntsville will be in attendance when the MAHC Board of Directors announces its decision regarding the recommendation by the Task Force.