One of Muskoka’s top healthcare officials is clearing the air around financing the future capital needs of our hospitals. Chair of the Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare Board of Directors, Evelyn Brown, has released an online blog to explain the need for the district to invest in the future of our healthcare through a capital reserve fund. Brown, along with Vice Chair Phil Matthews, spoke to the District of Muskoka in January about a $39 million need over the next three to five years.

There was speculation online about the money going towards building one new hospital to serve all of Muskoka after that presentation to the district, but Brown says the Capital Plan Development Task Force is researching all three models, and no decision has been made.

She says regardless of which future hospital model is picked, the cost for redevelopment in the future will be in the hundreds of millions of dollars range over time, which is why starting to put aside funds soon is so important.

In the blog post, Brown outlined the cost estimate for the three options for the future that were researched in 2015 to give a sense of the future redevelopment costs. 

The first option is keeping the two hospital sites, the second is moving to a single hospital site to service all of Muskoka. The third option would keep both sites, but designate inpatient and outpatient services at each location.

Brown says the task force could have its recommendation to MAHC by the spring.

You can give your input to the task force at a public meeting on March 1st in Bracebridge at 5:00pm. Go to the MAHC website for presentation details, and read Brown’s full blog post online. 

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