Ontario’s health minister isn’t committing to keeping two hospitals in Muskoka. That’s what Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP Norm Miller is saying after questioning Helena Jaczek at Queen’s Park yesterday. Miller said he spoke during question period, asking about maintaining the two current hospitals in Bracebridge and Huntsville, and why the area isn’t getting its fair share of funding.

 

That 4.6 per cent equals out to be around $822 million across Ontario, of which Musoka will receive around $750,000. Miller says the answer from Jaczek was disappointing.

When it comes to the ongoing hospital redevelopment talks, Miller says Jaczek didn’t commit to keeping the two sites. However, he says just asking about it ensures the government is fully aware that this what the people of Muskoka want. Jaczek says they have heard from Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare CEO Natalie Bubela on a number of issues about the plans for the future. She also says looking at efficiencies, centres of excellence, and providing care as close to home as possible are all part of the talks.

Miller also has a petition making the rounds right now, which the community can fill out to voice their opinions about keeping both sites. He says he’ll bring the petitions to the government as many times as he’s able before the session ends. Print a copy of the online petition, fill it out, and take it either Miller’s office in Bracebridge or town hall in Huntsville.

This all stems from a MAHC task force looking at three options for the future of our hospitals. The options are keeping two acute care sites, designating inpatient and outpatient services at each location, or moving to a one-site model. The community has been vocal about its opinion to keep both sites in Muskoka. A Facebook page was created to get MAHC’s attention, Huntsville town council discussed an idea to ask the province to dissolve the MAHC board, and open letters about the options have all been circulating.

The task force is expected to make its recommendation in the coming months, however an exact timeline hasn’t been set.

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Miller launches petition to maintain hospitals in both Huntsville and Bracebridge

Watch the full exchange from Queen’s Park below: