Ontario investing $14 million to expand Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare

'The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the need for redevelopment'

The Ontario government is investing $14 million to modernize and expand Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare.

The funding will support planning for the phased redevelopment of its two hospital sites, Huntsville District Memorial, and South Muskoka Memorial.

The province says the aim is to create more patient beds, and expand services to help more families in Muskoka, East Parry Sound, and surrounding communities.

A press conference was held on Sunday, April 24, in Huntsville, which included Premier Doug Ford, and Cameron Renwick, Board Chair of Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare. Renwick says the funds will help on multiple fronts.

“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,” said Renwick.

“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.”

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.

“This is an exciting day for Huntsville, Bracebridge, all of Muskoka and East Parry Sound,” said Karin Terziano, Mayor of Huntsville. “The future of our two hospitals and the healthcare of our residents has taken a giant step forward today.”

More than 50 new beds are planned to be added across the two hospitals, bringing the total number at Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare to over 140.

“This is a milestone day for the future of our hospitals and healthcare in Muskoka and beyond,” said Graydon Smith, Mayor of Bracebridge.

The province says the funding is also planned to go towards services including chronic disease management, mental health and addictions, and emergency health care services.

Ontario will work with Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare to identify programming, operational and space requirements, and assessing of how the two-site hospital project can further help address the health care needs of patients and residents in the region.

Feature image via Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare website