Muskoka politicians are fresh out of a meeting they had today with Ontario’s Health Minister Dr. Eric Hoskins.

It was about local healthcare and Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith tells the Moose it was very productive…

Smith says the minister was told about the hard decisions facing MAHC due to its budget struggles and that Hoskins appeared receptive to the message that politicians want to see both Huntsville and Bracebridge hospital sites remain strong…

Smith reinforced with the Minister that the continued delivery of acute care services at the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital in Bracebridge is crucial to the long-term sustainability of the community and the continued provision of adequate health care services for the residents of the Town.

On behalf of the residents of Bracebridge, Huntsville, Muskoka Lakes and the entire Muskoka region, the Mayors re-confirmed the importance of, and support for, 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.

Specifically, the Minister was urged to:

1. Ensure that the changes to the health care delivery system currently being implemented to improve hospital efficiency do not negatively impact access to services and the quality of care;

2. Ensure that the changes undertaken recognize the unique and important role that smaller hospitals, such as the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital have in promoting economic development and creating sustainable communities in Ontario; and

3. Take appropriate steps to ensure 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.

Smith says to expect more dialogue between the Ministry and local officials on the subject in the future. (PHOTO: Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith, who was part of today’s Muskoka delegation at Queen’s Park)