After working collaboratively with the community, health care providers and municipal leaders, Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC) has submitted a Stage 1 redevelopment proposal requesting the Ministry of Health approve two new full-service hospitals to serve Muskoka and area in the future.
“We are pleased to inform our communities of this milestone in MAHC’s future planning journey,” says Board Chair Phil Matthews. “The Stage 1 Proposal is the culmination of 26 months of inclusive, collaborative and thoughtful planning work to arrive at a proposal that enhances care closer to home and ensures access to advanced diagnostics, programs and services that are responsive to our communities’ needs and support safe, high-quality patient care.”
MAHC’s Stage 1 submission proposes two new hospital facilities in Bracebridge and Huntsville with a full range of acute care services including emergency, inpatient and surgical services at each site. The proposal seeks to add 61 more inpatient beds including a new stroke rehabilitation unit, and MRI technology.
“This proposal represents the single largest investment in acute care in Muskoka – a $560 million legacy for future generations that is imperative for the future wellbeing of our catchment area and the thousands of seasonal residents and visitors MAHC serves every year,” says Matthews. “The Board is confident that this proposal, as unanimously recommended by a diverse task force with broad representation, has the support of the people we serve and of our local municipalities that have agreed in principle to help fund the ‘local share’ of the future redevelopment.”
Stage 1 planning has reaffirmed that MAHC’s Emergency Departments are half the size they should be to handle today’s volumes, and other clinical areas are challenged to accommodate the projected future growth.
The comprehensive review of MAHC’s existing infrastructure in line with the physical space needed to accommodate future volumes and evolving health care standards has also confirmed that building new avoids significant challenges experienced today by trying to adapt aging infrastructure to new models of care and technology, and to meet accessibility, infection control, and privacy requirements.
“As part of our submission we are urging the Ministry to promptly review and approve our Stage 1 submission and move us on to Stage 2 planning,” adds CEO Natalie Bubela. “Having recently been awarded the highest rating of Accredited with Exemplary Standing from Accreditation Canada, we are excited to build on this achievement of best-in-class standards with a redevelopment proposal that ensures MAHC is best positioned to be responsive to the ever-changing health care landscape. We remain committed to refining our plan at each stage of the capital planning process to meet evolving technology, best practice, system integration and community needs.”