Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare is officially moving into the planning stages for a new healthcare model in Muskoka.
MAHC officials announced today that the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care approved a Stage 1 Proposal planning process with $1 million in funding.
This means MAHC will be putting together a Capital Plan Development Task Force made up of various experts and local officials to figure out which healthcare model would best suit Muskoka in the years to come.
In 2015, the MAHC board voted in favour of replacing both of the aging hospitals in Bracebridge and Huntsville with one facility on a new site by about 2030.
Municipal officials have publicly rejected this proposal with concerns that closing hospitals in either of these communities would cause major negative economic impacts.
In 2016, Bracebridge and Huntsville councillors held a joint meeting and all voted in favour of a proposal to renovate the two current hospitals rather than build a new facility.
No decisions have been made yet on which model MAHC will move forward with.
The Task Force is expected to release its preferred model plan by early 2018.