Monday, 30 March 2015

Speak up about the future! Your voice will be heard

As I write this month’s blog, Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC) has just completed three Community Information Sessions in Gravenhurst, Bracebridge and Huntsville where we presented the final models under consideration for delivering hospital care for our future generations in the year 2030 and beyond. Additional meetings are also taking place to provide information about this planning process and the final models to as many of our stakeholders as possible across Muskoka and East Parry Sound. If you were not able to join us March 23, 24 or 25, I encourage you to visit our updated webpage at where all of the documents and posters we presented in each of the sessions, including the slide presentation, are available for review.

As much as we are striving to make data driven decisions, we know that these are highly emotional issues. It’s logical that people might fear what they don’t know, but I must emphasize that the status quo of our two hospital sites as we know them today cannot exist for many more years. That is because of many factors, such as technological advancements in health care, funding challenges in the provincial health care system with a greater emphasis on community health care, and the changing demographics and evolving needs in our communities. The petitions in the community and the rallies held on March 21 are indicative of how people care deeply about their local hospitals. Those who participated can be confident their messages are being heard locally here at MAHC, as well as at Queen’s Park. I am inspired by the public’s involvement, whether it’s through a petition, a rally, or by attending our information sessions, and am grateful that people are adding their voice to the conversation.

Delivering the very best programs and acute care possible to the people we serve is what MAHC is all about. The public feedback we receive about the issues under consideration will help the Board of Directors make its decision this spring on the preferred model of service delivery for 2030 and beyond that will ensure we will continue to deliver the safest and very best quality health care that is sustainable in Muskoka.

Your engagement in the future planning process that we are require by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to carry out, is very important to me as an administrator. I trust that those who attended our community information sessions will share the information they received from MAHC with their friends and family, and encourage them to become informed about these issues and to provide their feedback on the final models. Input may be shared through our website before April 15, 2015. Thank you for your continued participation as together we work toward a solution that will best meet the residents and visitors of Muskoka for generations to come.