Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare is responding to concerns regarding the future of the district’s hospitals. The comments come on the heels of a Facebook page entitled “Listen To The People, MAHC!“, which gained almost 5,000 members in less than a week. The message the page aims to send is the community wants to keep both hospitals.

In a statement released today, CEO Natalie Bubela explains MAHC knows there is a concern in the community about the potential one hospital site model, with questions as to why MAHC is continually researching the model that is opposed by a lot of people. She says MAHC has repeatedly asked the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care if any model can be taken off of the table, but the ministry has said to continue looking into all three options. The other two options are having two acute care sites, which would cost around $475 million through a combination of new build and renovation, and designating inpatient and outpatient services at each location which would cost around $373 million through new build and renovations. A one-site hospital model would cost around $348 million to build.

The response from Bubela comes just one day after providing a statement to the newsroom saying MAHC is listening and receptive to all public feedback.

MAHC says the Capital Plan Development Task Force, which is made up of 25 people including healthcare experts and local politicians, is analyzing the different options and taking all feedback into consideration. Chair Cameron Renwick says he can assure the community the task force is listening to residents. He says any plan for the future is going to focus on providing safe, high-quality, and sustainable care. He also says no final decisions have been made yet.

Renwick also noted the importance of community support. He says it’s a critical factor, as no matter which option is picked it’s going to be expensive and the ministry requires the community pays for 10 per cent of the building cost, as well as equipment and furnishings.

MAHC has added a question and answer section to its website following the public meeting held earlier this month to clarify some of the information surrounding the project.

Previous stories:

Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare responds to the “Listen to the People, MAHC!” Facebook page

MAHC adds FAQ section to its website regarding redevelopment plans