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HomeNewsHuntsville councillor 'disappointed' with part of hospital meetings

Huntsville councillor ‘disappointed’ with part of hospital meetings

Coun. Monty Clouthier said he wants to see more young people have their say on Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare’s hospital redevelopment process.

During the Feb. 26 council meeting, he said “one of the biggest disappointments” stemming from the public meeting process over the past few weeks has been the lack of “25 to 45-year-old people” taking part.

“We all have our views,” he said referencing his council colleagues. “We’re all older.”

Mayor Nancy Alcock agreed with Clouthier but countered that at the meetings in Bracebridge and Muskoka Lakes, there were many young people who “spoke out very clearly about obstetrics (childbirth).”

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The conversation comes a week after Cheryl Harrison, president and chief executive officer of MAHC, said “no decisions are being made for quite some time” on the hospital redevelopment project.

Harrison added that MAHC will be providing weekly updates on the redevelopment process.

“That, to me, is probably the most important thing because we all heard that people in all of the communities felt a little bit surprised by what the proposed model was about and nobody really likes surprises,” said Alcock.

Harrison also said multiple meetings will be scheduled in the coming weeks to get feedback on the current proposal, including one with the area’s mayors.

Alcock told Clouthier she would bring up his point during the meeting, which she expects to happen next week. She said the meeting will allow them “to start discussing this next phase, to continue working together, to make sure we’re working collaboratively and to make sure we find the best possible model of care for everybody.”

Alcock pointed out that much of the discussion surrounding the redevelopment project has focused on the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital in Bracebridge. She referenced the Care Close to Home” proposal put forward by many South Muskoka physicians.

“We’ve all been talking a lot about hospitals in Muskoka,” she said.

As MAHC looks to figure out its next steps, Alcock pledged to ensure North Muskoka’s voice is heard.

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