Emergency Departments at each of Muskoka’s hospital sites might become a bit congested.

Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare is starting renovations at each site to build secure rooms in the Emergency Departments meant for protection of patients who may try to self-harm or could be a danger to others. MAHC officials say each room is being built to function as a safety net while still providing dignity and comfort to the patient by offering dedicated washrooms and a secure viewing area.

“It is important that we have spaces that meet our patients’ different needs” says Emergency Medical Director Dr. John Simpson. “And also support and help facilitate compassionate care whether for trauma, fractures, infectious diseases, or anyone experiencing a crisis that could be a high risk of violence or harm to themselves or others.”

The renovations are expected to stretch until May and MAHC officials are warning this will lead to some noise and congestion in these departments, which are generally always busy. Hospital staff is asking anyone with non-emergency medical concerns to consider visiting their local doctor or a walk-in clinic to help ease up on congestion.

“We will try to do our best to minimize the impact on patients wherever possible,” says Dr. Simpson. “We appreciate your patience and understanding during the work.”

MAHC officials say the development of these new safe rooms is thanks significant donor support coordinated by both the Huntsville Hospital Foundation and the South Muskoka Hospital Foundation.

“We are so grateful to our Foundations for contributing considerable funds to these much-needed projects,” says MAHC CEO Natalie Bubela. “We have millions in capital needs today that we rely on community donations to fund.”

Officials with each of the Foundations say there was definitely a strong feeling of support for this project from the donors.