Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith, on behalf of Bracebridge Town Council, expressed his pleasure with the announcement of one-time funding to support Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare.
MAHC, together with the North Simcoe Muskoka Local Health Integration Network (NSM LHIN), recently announced that the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has provided MAHC with $2.3 million in one-time funding for the current year that ends March 31, 2017.
As noted by MAHC, the one-time funding will address MAHC’s operating shortfall and will be used to achieve a balanced budget for fiscal year 2016-17. Without the additional funding, MAHC was projecting a $2.3 million operating deficit.
Over the past year, through participation at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario’s annual conference, at events organized by the Rural Ontario Municipal Association and the Ontario Good Roads Association, and through direct communication to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care and Premier Wynne, the Town of Bracebridge has proactively advocated for additional funding to support vital acute care services in Bracebridge and all of Muskoka.
“We are very pleased that MAHC has received funding to alleviate their most immediate concerns but again call on the government to rectify the ongoing fiscal challenges faced by MAHC and other hospitals in Ontario,” said Mayor Smith.
As noted by Natalie Bubela, Chief Executive Officer at MAHC, although the one-time funding addresses the current deficit, it is understood that MAHC’s budget challenges will continue in the next fiscal year.
As has been communicated to the Province previously by the Town of Bracebridge, it is apparent that multi-site organizations of MAHC’s size are disadvantaged by the Province’s health system’s funding formula.
The Town of Bracebridge will continue to encourage the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care to look at ways to address the on-going funding gap for Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare to ensure the sustainability of emergency health care services and inpatient care for Bracebridge and all of Muskoka.