Many MLA members will recall that in 2017 the Ontario Ministry of Health provided direction to Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC) to pursue a two-site hospital model for Muskoka. MAHC submitted a redevelopment proposal for two hospital sites, in Bracebridge and Huntsville, that was accepted by the Province in April of 2022.
Last fall, the estimated total cost to build two new hospitals was $967 million. Of that, the Province of Ontario had agreed to contribute $742 million in funding, leaving a local share contribution of $225 million to be raised by the community. The District voted to add $77.3 million over several years to the tax levy; MAHC pledged funds from the sale of surplus lands; and the two hospital foundations continue with fundraising campaigns to raise the local share contribution.
Since that time, the MAHC board has received updated construction estimates indicating that inflation has added 50% to the costs to redevelop the two sites to deliver the same services as they had in the past. This has led to a review of how services can be best delivered differently than the current model, to serve the catchment area of 4,000 square kilometres in both Muskoka and Almaguin/East Parry Sound as well as visitors to Algonquin Park.
Nothing has been decided yet and MAHC continues to seek input from the community. MAHC President & CEO Cheryl Harrison has said the goal is to create “a healthcare delivery model that is realistic, affordable and sustainable, while remaining true to generations of outstanding care and innovation.”
The MLA supports an accessible, affordable and quality healthcare system for the Muskoka community.
Posted on 2024/02/12