A group of a dozen Almaguin communities is putting pressure on the provincial health care authority and local hospitals to ensure that Huntsville Hospital stays open and that the funding from the represented communities Local Health Integration Network is re-deployed to support the Huntsville hospital.
Cathy Still is the Reeve of Burks Falls and a former paramedic. She knows the majority of constituents in their collective choose Huntsville as their acute care facility over North Bay which can be anywhere from twenty to forty minutes further away.
At issue is a complicated and somewhat misunderstood funding formula when it comes to the integration networks and Still is hoping their presentations to the various stakeholders will get them to reconsider how public health care funds are deployed.
All of Almaguin sits within the North East Local Health Network, but most people use the North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN but their tax dollars do not support it.
The hope is the South Almaguin communities can divert funding to the North Simcoe Network.
Still says if the funds were deployed differently there would likely be no funding deficit with the Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare Capital Plan with the appropriate dollars going to the closest health network.
Communities included in this effort are Burks Falls, Sundridge, Armour, Perry, McKellar, Kearney, Ryerson, Joly, Magnetawan, Mcmurrich-Monteith, Strong and Sundridge.