Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Future Health Care Model Presented at Huntsville/Bracebridge Joint Council Meeting

Charles Forret, Chair of the MAHC Board of Directors
Charles Forret,
Board Chair
This blog has been prepared by Charles Forret, Chair of the MAHC Board of Directors

The Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare Board of Directors recognizes the work that went into the proposal presented at the Huntsville/Bracebridge Special Joint Council Meeting on Monday, February 1. There has been a great deal of dialogue and commentary in the community from individuals like Ken Black, Dr. David Mathies and others demonstrating a growing understanding in the community of the potential risks and benefits of the different models that have been discussed for the future delivery of acute care.

While we understand our communities wish to preserve two acute care sites, the Board continues to believe a One-Hospital model best ensures safe, high-quality and sustainable health care for future generations. The Board is responsible for defining a long-term vision for acute care within the hospital setting, which is only one component of the concept presented by the municipalities focused on widespread health system reform. The Board also emphasizes that status quo is not an option within today’s provincial financial state and objective to transform and shift health care to more community-based care.

The model presented at the Joint Council Meeting builds on MAHC’s Centres of Focus or “Hybrid” model. There is merit to a Centres of Focus model in the shorter term as the Board feels that eliminating duplication of services and concentrating patient volumes by rationalizing services at one site is the only way to survive within today’s funding formula and ensure that programs and services we have today are retained and available in Muskoka. Movement towards a Centres of Focus type of model in the shorter term is inevitable without dramatic changes to the funding for MAHC.

The Board looks forward to further dialogue with our municipal partners, the North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN and the Capital Planning Task Force to better understand the implications of the model and if and how this model will be broadly supported by the residents and visitors in Muskoka and East Parry Sound.

The Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare Board of Directors strongly supports a more integrated local health system and coordinated patient- and family-centered care with the hospital/acute care sector as a key partner in a the region. The Board is open to working with the Hospital Retention Working Group, the municipalities and consultants behind each of the models to address specific questions to better understand the proposal and move forward on a solution that is sustainable for the future and that we all agree will provide the best quality and safe patient care for our communities.