Q & A with Ontario’s Ministry of Health about MAHC recommendation of two new hospitals in Muskoka

Agatha Farmer

MUSKOKA - What exactly does the Ontario Ministry of Health have to say about Muskoka’s two new hospitals recommendation. We posed some questions to the ministry.

Below are our questions and the ministry’s answers.

MP: These two hospitals have been recommended by a task force. The local share for the municipality is $74 million over 10-15 years in today’s dollars. What does the ministry estimate the final cost will be to the Muskoka municipalities with inflation for two new hospitals?

MoH: “The hospital and its consulting team are responsible for preparing the cost estimate for the proposed options. The hospital is in the early stages of planning and these costs are expected to evolve over time.“

MP: Is the building of these two new hospitals on track with the ministry’s vision and mandate going forward given the current streamlining of the health care system?

MoH: “The ministry has advised Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare that its capital project proposal needs to consider a range of options including redevelopment of the two existing sites. The ministry will review all proposed options through the capital planning process to ensure that new investments give patients access to the right care, in the right place.“

MP: Does the ministry have a plan for the region of Muskoka as the population here ages?

MoH: “The ministry recognizes that innovative solutions are needed across the continuum of care as the population ages in Muskoka and across the province.

Significant investments are being made across the health care system including:

Additional Investments of $384 million in the hospital sector in 2019-20, representing an increase of 2% to the hospitals sector. 

An additional $72 million in 2019-20 in the long-term care sector to expand bed capacity, and

$155 million more funding for home and community care services, including $45 million for targeted innovative integrated care models that strengthen partnerships between busy hospitals and home and community care providers to ensure that ALC patients who are ready to leave hospital can do so quicker.”

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