Positive Direction Forward with Muskoka Physicians on New Health System

March 27, 2024

MAHC is encouraged about changes being explored following an engagement session Wednesday evening with the Credentialed Staff Association (CSA) that includes physicians and other care providers from both North and South Muskoka. “We are optimistic about the positive and collaborative nature of our discussions tonight,” said Cheryl Harrison, President and CEO at MAHC. “We are getting closer to alignment on a proposal that is integrated, patient-centred, and sustainable. We still have work to do, and we are grateful to those who continue to work closely with us to inform a plan that best suits our community,” said Harrison.

The group reviewed data related to the planning process and the “Care Close to Home” model put forth by some South Muskoka physicians in February of this year; of which preliminary costing falls well outside the budget parameters set by the Ministry and local share funders. Session discussion included concepts such as adding more beds and preserving labour and delivery obstetrical services at the Bracebridge site.

“We have had a healthy discussion that has taken us closer to a model that is good for the whole region and each of the communities” said John Simpson Director and Chief of Emergency Medicine. MAHC will continue to engage the CSA to provide additional data and information for discussion with this group. Influencing factors in the finalization of a plan include the impact on total cost, staffing models, the funding required from the provincial government, and the local share contribution from the municipalities and the hospital foundations.

The next steps in the planning process will incorporate ongoing engagement with internal staff, credentialed staff and volunteers, community organizations, and the broader public before finalizing the plan for submission. Details on further engagement will be available in the coming weeks.

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