Ontario Building More Resilient Hospitals in Muskoka Algonquin

May 31, 2022
Ontario Building More Resilient Hospitals in Muskoka Algonquin

$14 million investment will support redevelopment of two Muskoka hospitals to improve care for families

As part of its plan to stay open, the Ontario government is investing an additional $14 million to modernize and expand Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare. This funding will support planning for the phased redevelopment of its two hospital sites, Huntsville District Memorial and South Muskoka Memorial. This will create more patient beds and expand services to serve more families in Muskoka, East Parry Sound and surrounding communities as the province continues to build a stronger, more resilient health system that is better able to respond to crisis.

“As a result of decades of inaction and underinvestment by previous governments, the people of Muskoka and the surrounding areas have had to make do with hospitals that did not have the infrastructure to provide the level of care that this growing community needs,” said Premier Doug Ford. “Our government is fixing this problem and investing historic amounts to ensure that all Ontarians have access to the world class hospital facilities they deserve. We are getting it done for the people and families that call the Muskoka region home.”

Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare currently provides care to over 141,000 residents, cottagers and visitors to the Muskoka region. As the region continues to grow, so will the demand for health care services. The two redevelopments will build the capacity to meet this demand and end hallway health care for families in Muskoka, East Parry Sound and the surrounding communities. As the projects are completed, families will be able to look forward to increased access to inpatient, emergency and acute care services.

As part of the redevelopment, more than 50 news beds are planned to be added across the two hospitals, bringing the total number of beds at Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare to more than 140. Much-needed health care services are also planned to be enhanced, including chronic disease management, mental health and addictions services and emergency health care services. These new beds and enhanced services will ensure families continue to have access to high-quality care when they need it.

“Our government is proud to support redeveloping Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare’s two hospital sites to put an end to hallway health care in the Muskoka region and build a stronger, more resilient health care system,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “This investment will ensure that residents have access to high-quality care in safe and modern spaces for generations to come.”

Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare has received government approval to implement this phased redevelopment, meaning this important project is part of the government’s 10-year capital plan. The province is working with Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare on the early stages of the planning process, which include identifying programming, operational and space requirements and assessing how the two-site hospital project can further help address the health care needs of patients and residents in the region.

Quick Facts

  • Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare provides emergency health care services and inpatient care at two acute care sites in Huntsville and Bracebridge: Huntsville District Memorial Hospital and South Muskoka Memorial Hospital. Patient care is also supported through a number of outpatient programs at the Almaguin Highlands Health Centre in Burk’s Falls. The multi-site organization cares for over 45,000 patients in its emergency departments every year.
  • To further support the high-quality care provided by Ontario’s hospitals, the government is providing an additional $827 million to hospitals across the province, representing a four per cent increase from last year. This will ensure all publicly funded hospitals receive a minimum two per cent increase to their budgets to help them better meet patient needs, while building a stronger, more resilient health care system.
  • The Ontario government is increasing Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare’s operating funding for the fourth straight year. Last year, Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare received $1.7 million in additional operating funding, representing an increase of 2.5 per cent to the operating funding the hospital received the year before.
  • As part of the government’s over $1.2 billion investment to help hospitals recover from financial pressures created and worsened by COVID-19, Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare received $2 million for 2020-21 lost revenue and $7.7 million to help cover historic working funds deficits.
  • As part of the government’s $760 million commitment in the 2021 Budget to support over 3,100 additional hospital beds during the COVID-19 pandemic, Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare received funding for up to 23 acute care beds.
  • To support growing demands on the health care system, Ontario’s investments over the next 10 years will lead to $30 billion in health infrastructure across the province. These investments will increase capacity in hospitals, build new health care facilities and renew existing hospitals and community health centres.

“I am thrilled that our government has committed to redevelop both the Huntsville District Memorial and the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital sites and to expand the number of beds and services offered. This, along with fair funding for medium-sized hospitals after years of chronic underfunding, means the people in Muskoka and East Parry Sound will continue to have access to the health care services they need close to home for years to come.” – Norman Miller, MPP for Parry Sound—Muskoka

“This is tremendous news for the Muskoka residents, cottagers, businesses and the region’s visitors and even more so for the staff, physicians and volunteers who work so hard to look after our communities in aging, space-constrained facilities. The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the need for redevelopment of both hospital sites and the Board of Directors is absolutely thrilled to receive the government’s support of a two-site future for Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare.” – Cameron Renwick, Board Chair, Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare

“This is an exciting day for Huntsville, Bracebridge, all of Muskoka and East Parry Sound. The future of our two hospitals and the healthcare of our residents has taken a giant step forward today. On behalf of the Town of Huntsville, a huge thank you to Premier Ford and Minister Elliot.” – Karin Terziano, Mayor of Huntsville

“This is a milestone day for the future of our hospitals and healthcare in Muskoka and beyond. The importance of this historic investment cannot be overstated and I want to thank Premier Ford and Minister Elliot for their ongoing support to make this happen.” – Graydon Smith, Mayor of Bracebridge

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