In response to the Muskoka Algonquin Health Care proposal for a one-site hospital in Muskoka, the MLA sent the following letter to the Ministry of Health.
September 24, 2015
The Honourable Dr. Eric Hoskins
Minister of Health & Long-Term Care
Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care
10th floor, Hepburn Block, 80 Grosvenor Street
Re: Proposal from Muskoka Algonquin Health Care for single-site hospital in Muskoka
Dear Minister Hoskins:
The Muskoka Lakes Association (MLA) represents the families of over 2,300 waterfront property owners in Muskoka. Since 1894 the MLA has worked to promote the responsible use, enjoyment and conservation of the unique Muskoka environment. The MLA plays an active role in municipal and district affairs, advocating for the interests of waterfront residents and the broader Muskoka community.
The MLA firmly believes that reasonable access to healthcare while at their cottages is of utmost concern to our members. Bee stings, heart attacks, or simple outdoor calamities occur regularly and require immediate attention. By creating a single-site hospital to service all of Muskoka potentially puts them at risk. Wherever this single site is located, travel times could exceed one hour or more for cottagers to get there, especially during the busy summer season as roads and waterways (for islanders) are congested. Accordingly, the MLA supports the resolutions of the Towns of Bracebridge and Huntsville, and the endorsement of these resolutions by the Township of Muskoka Lakes (TML), that urge Muskoka Algonquin Health Care (MAHC) and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to continue the delivery of a full range of core hospital services including acute care inpatient, emergency, diagnostic and surgical services at both the South Memorial Hospital site in Bracebridge and the Huntsville District Memorial Hospital.
We also believe that maintaining both hospitals is crucial to the long-term sustainability and economic vitality of the two communities and the entire Muskoka region. We urge the Province of Ontario’s long-term provincial health strategy to allow for multi-site delivery recognizing the unique and important role that smaller hospitals, such as the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital and the Huntsville District Memorial Hospital have in promoting economic development and creating sustainable communities in Ontario.
We look forward to your response and should you have any questions of us, please do not hesitate to contact me.
cc: Mayor Graydon Smith, Town of Bracebridge
District Chair John Klinck, District of Muskoka
Mayor Don Furniss, Township of Muskoka Lakes
Mayor Scott Aitchinson, Town of Huntsville