Chair of the MAHC Board Evelyn Brown and Task Force Chair Cameron Renwick speak to Huntsville council. Photo by Taylor Ablett/105.5 Moose FM/Vista Radio
The task force looking at hospital redevelopment in Muskoka has made some decisions. No hospital model has been set, but Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare’s team has decided on the programs and services each model will provide.
The first option the task force is looking at is having two acute care sites, similar to how it operates now with the hospitals in Huntsville and Bracebridge. According to the MAHC website, if this model is chosen the two sites will have acute care beds, an emergency department, general surgery, obstetrics and intensive care. MAHC says these services would be supported by other core diagnostic services and health support. Specialty surgeries and programs, like chemotherapy and complex continuing care, will be at one site only which is how it currently works. The model also has a stroke rehabilitation unit and MRI services at one site. According to a 2015 cost estimate, this option will cost around $475 million through a combination of new build and renovation if chosen.
The second option the task force is looking at is designating inpatient and outpatient services at each location. This model, if chosen, would also have emergency departments at both sites. The inpatient site would include all hospital beds, surgical services, obstetrics, and intensive care, as well as a stroke rehabilitation unit and MRI services. The outpatient site would have services that don’t require an overnight stay at the hospital, like endoscopies, x-rays and other diagnostic imaging, and services like chemotherapy and dialysis. A 2015 cost analysis estimated this option would come with a price tag of around $373 million.
The third option is moving to a one-site model, which would have all programs and services at one hospital. According to a 2015 cost estimate, it would cost around $348 million to build, but MAHC says it will be seeking new cost estimates for each of the models the task force is currently considering.
Chair of the Capital Plan Development Task Force, Cameron Renwick, says they have received a lot of input on the model throughout this process, and many people were involved in finalizing the programs and services proposed for each model, including MAHC leaders, staff and physicians, community providers, and municipalities. He says he wants to assure everyone the task force is listening and recognizes that community engagement has an important role in the evaluation of the models. Renwick adds this is high-level planning for 10 to 15 years or more.
Renwick says once the task is going to apply a variety of data, including projections, health care studies, and reports on land-use planning, to evaluate the three models.
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