Thursday, 30 July 2015

Work Progressing to Finalize One Hospital Submission

Since the decision in May by the Board of Directors of Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC) to approve one acute care hospital centrally located as the best model to deliver health care services in the future – for the year 2030 and beyond, we have been working with our consultants to complete MAHC’s Pre-Capital Submission.

Our submission needs to be based on the most up-to-date information available, and we are refreshing our data with the latest population growth projections provided by the Ministry of Finance. Long-term planning is an “ever-greening” process of our proposal to reflect the most current information available to us. The Ministry of Finance's new growth projections, provided at the end of 2014, are lower than the 2012 figures and have an impact on the size of the facility required. We intend to submit our Pre-Capital Submission to the North Simcoe Muskoka Local Health Integration Network (NSM LHIN) in August. Our submission will be presented to the LHIN's Board of Directors at their next scheduled meeting on September 28th. Once the document has been submitted to the LHIN, it will also be posted on our website.
The Pre-Capital Submission Form is part of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s Joint Review Framework for Early Capital Planning Stages. The PreCapital is the entry point into the Ministry’s capital planning process, which moves through a total of five distinct stages. The submission is essentially a 15-page template that poses a number of questions we answer to paint a picture of MAHC’s role as a health care provider in the local health system, as well as the initiative being proposed (a future one-hospital model). The “joint review” refers to the collaborative roles that both the local LHIN and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care share in reviewing the submission under the framework.

The document itself includes a Part A and Part B. Part A describes all program and service elements, while Part B covers the development concept and the physical and cost elements of the proposal. The LHIN reviews the Part A submission in the context of local health system planning priorities and develops recommendations and advice for consideration by the Ministry. The focus of the LHIN is to ensure that the programs and services outlined in the capital proposal meet the needs of the local health system. We believe we have met the expectation of developing our plan in the context of the NSM LHIN’s local system plans and local planning priorities.
Once the LHIN has completed a review of the submission, LHIN staff will develop a recommendation for its Board of Directors with regard to its position on the Part A submission. The recommendation is either “endorsement”, “conditional endorsement” or “rejection”. If the LHIN Board endorses the Part A program and service elements, the LHIN will provide written rationale and advice to the Ministry and direct us at MAHC to submit the full Pre-Capital Submission Form (Part A and Part B) to the Ministry. The Ministry maintains responsibility for the review and approval of projects, including review of all physical and cost elements as well as program and service elements from a provincial perspective.

This review process by both levels of government could take several weeks to complete. We hope to receive Ministry approval to advance to the next stage of the process by the New Year. In the meantime, the MAHC Board of Directors is eager to begin the site selection process, a process that could take six to 12 months and will involve internal stakeholders, community members and Foundation representation. Concurrent with the Board decision, the site selection process will target a central location and will involve criteria that ensure a rigorous, structured selection process. The Board will ensure an open and competitive site selection process that is accountable and transparent. Site selection is required as part of the next phase of planning – the Stage 1 submission.

A critical priority in the coming years is the MAHC Board’s commitment to being an active partner in local transportation initiatives and health integration efforts like the Muskoka Health Link. MAHC is one piece of a system approach to care in the region. We take our role as a partner organization very seriously and want to foster collaborative relationships that improve access to appropriate care throughout our communities and that is broader than the acute care provided by MAHC.