Foundation for the Future: Understanding Our

Redevelopment Vision

Why is MAHC undertaking a capital redevelopment project?

To seize a once-in-a-lifetime chance to construct two state-of-the-art hospitals that will serve our community’s future health care needs. This project addresses the limitations of our current, outdated facilities and brings cutting-edge health care closer to home.

  • Transformative Opportunity: The funding represents a pivotal moment, allowing us to create modern medical facilities that are specifically designed to meet contemporary health care needs.
  • Significant Development: The project to develop two state-of-the-art hospital facilities in a small community like Muskoka presents a rare and valuable chance to enhance our regional health care infrastructure.
  • Modernization of Facilities: Our existing hospitals, though effective in the past, require substantial updates to incorporate the latest health care innovations and technologies, ensuring they can support the health needs of our community well into the future.

 

Why is there a sense of urgency in implementing these changes?

The urgency stems from the need to replace aging infrastructure that was designed decades ago that no longer meets our community’s health care requirements. With rising construction costs and ongoing facility deterioration, timely action is essential to avoid escalating future costs and to ensure we can provide top-notch health care efficiently.

  • Exceptional Opportunity: Seizing the chance to significantly enhance health care capabilities with the construction of two advanced hospitals.
  • Modernization Needs: Embracing the transition to modern infrastructure designed to address the full spectrum of current and future health care requirements.
  • Improving Patient Experience: Actively working to resolve capacity issues and reduce overcrowding, particularly in Emergency Departments, to significantly enhance patient care.
  • Strategic Investment: Investing in new facilities is a response to the escalating costs of maintaining outdated structures, representing a forward-thinking approach to sustainable health care.
  • Long-term Planning: Diligently planning for a comprehensive redevelopment that requires time to align with evolving health care needs effectively.
  • Resilient Commitment: Maintaining steadfast dedication to this vital project, consistently refining our strategies to manage challenges such as delays and rising costs without compromising on quality.
  • Goal-oriented Efficiency: Prioritizing efficient progress while committing to meticulous planning to uphold the highest standards in health care delivery.

 

Why are you building new facilities instead of renovating the existing hospitals?

Building new facilities is more cost-effective and less disruptive to patient care than renovating our current hospitals, which would require extensive updates to meet modern standards and would significantly disrupt health care delivery during construction. 

  • Careful Evaluation: We thoroughly evaluated the renovation option and concluded that it does not meet long-term strategic needs.
  • Compliance and Standards: Our existing structures do not comply with current building codes or the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), necessitating significant upgrades.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Building new facilities is more cost-effective than renovating, as updates to meet modern standards would be extensive and expensive.
  • Operational Efficiency: Renovations would require complex staging and temporary relocation of services, disrupting patient care and extending project timelines, both of which would add to the overall cost.
  • Space Limitations: The constrained space in our current hospitals limits our ability to perform renovations without significant impact on services and patient care.

 

Why are you moving to a regional health care approach from a local based model?

MAHC is transitioning to a regional health care approach to enhance efficiency, sustainability, and quality of care across Muskoka and its surrounding regions. This strategic shift aims to eliminate operational inefficiencies, capitalize on shared expertise, and expand health care services to meet both current and future needs more effectively.

  • Addressing Financial and Resource Pressures: Adapting to financial constraints and health care workforce challenges by creating a more sustainable care delivery model.
  • Eliminating Inefficiencies: The integration of services across two hospitals will reduce redundancy, cut costs, and streamline operations, as directed by our funders including the Ministry and local share groups.
  • Enhancing Quality of Care: By centralizing services, MAHC aims to harness collective expertise and resources, elevating patient care and service excellence at both sites.
  • Opportunities for Expansion: The regional model provides flexibility to maintain existing services and expand them as community needs grow, ensuring long-term health care provision.
  • Leveraging Technology and Partnerships: Utilizing advanced technology and forming strategic partnerships to extend health care delivery beyond traditional hospital settings, enhancing accessibility in rural and remote areas.
  • Alignment with Provincial Developments: This shift is in line with broader health care trends and regional developments, acknowledging patient mobility and the necessity for specialized care accessibility.
  • Localized Specialized Care: The regional system will concentrate certain services at designated sites, reducing the need for long-distance travel for specialized care, thereby offering enhanced services closer to home.

 

Have you reconsidered the single-site model?

MAHC has carefully evaluated and ultimately moved away from the single-site model based on comprehensive community feedback and specific directives from the Ministry. This decision supports the development of a multi-site regional hospital that better meets the diverse needs of our region.

  • Exploration of Models: During the initial stages of planning, multiple models including a single-site option were considered to determine the best approach for redevelopment.
  • Community and Ministry Feedback: The single-site model was not supported by community preferences, and explicit directives from the Ministry also advised against this model.
  • Ministry Confirmation: Recent discussions with the Ministry in January 2024 reaffirmed the decision to exclude a single-site option from the project plans.
  • Commitment to Regional System: MAHC supports a multi-site regional hospital as a superior alternative, believing it will more effectively serve the broader region by enhancing accessibility, quality of care, and operational efficiency.

 

Why should South Muskoka communities like Gravenhurst contribute to this project when many residents will go to Orillia because it is closer than Huntsville?

The contribution of South Muskoka communities like Gravenhurst is crucial for the regional health care project, as it ensures that comprehensive medical services remain accessible locally, supports the community’s growth, and enhances health care quality and accessibility across the region.

  • Regional Health Care Needs: The project is designed to meet the broad health care needs of the entire Muskoka region, including Gravenhurst.
  • Community Feedback and Commitment: In response to community input, the project includes maintaining a multi-site regional hospital without service reductions, directly addressing the preferences and needs expressed by local residents.
  • Enhanced Service Delivery: By transforming how services are delivered, the project ensures the sustainability of a full range of medical services locally, helping to foster future community growth and development.
  • Accessibility of Emergency Services: Both sites, including the one closest to Gravenhurst, will have full-service 24/7 Emergency Departments, ensuring critical health care services are readily accessible.
  • Usage Patterns: Historical data shows that a significant number of Gravenhurst residents rely on the Bracebridge site’s Emergency Department, a trend expected to continue or increase with the improvements and expansions planned.
  • Concentration of Services: Essential services such as short-stay inpatient care and various outpatient services, which include day surgeries, diagnostic imaging, and cardiorespiratory visits, will be primarily available at the Bracebridge site, conveniently serving the Gravenhurst community.
  • Local Benefits: The strategic location and service offerings at the Bracebridge site ensure that essential health care remains in close proximity, supporting both immediate health care needs and long-term community wellbeing.

 

What is the projected financial commitment from the government and local share groups?

The redevelopment project for MAHC has secured a substantial financial commitment totaling $967 million, with contributions carefully structured between the provincial government and local communities to support the construction and equipping of the new facilities.

  • Total Budget: The total allocated budget for the project is $967 million, ensuring comprehensive funding for all aspects of construction and furnishing.
  • Provincial Funding: The provincial government is providing substantial support by funding 90% of the construction costs, which amounts to $742 million.
  • Local Share: Local communities are contributing $225 million, covering 10% of the eligible construction costs plus additional expenses for furniture, fixtures, equipment, and infrastructure like parking lots.