QUEEN’S PARK – During today’s Question Period Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP Norm Miller asked the Minister of Health to support two hospitals in Huntsville and Bracebridge and to ensure small and medium size hospitals get their share of any increased funding.
Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Helena Jaczek refused to commit to maintaining two fully functioning hospitals, instead talking generally about planning for hospitals across the province. Finally in her second response the Minister said her Ministry would listen to the recommendations from the community and municipal councils.
“The community has been very clear that they support maintaining two hospitals,” said Miller. “I asked this question because residents aren’t confident that the Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare’s Board and Task Force have been listening. I will continue to push the Minister to listen to not just the Board of MAHC but also to the people who rely upon these two hospitals.”
Asked about the increased funding this government has announced for hospitals, the Minister said the 4.6% increase was an average and that growing communities will receive more funding, suggesting that the need in Muskoka is not a great as elsewhere in the province.
While Muskoka’s population may not be growing at the rate of other areas, the average age is increasing as people retire to the region, creating more demand for hospital services.
“I am disappointed that the Minister was not willing to indicate her support for maintaining the two hospitals,” said Miller. “Given her answer I encourage concerned residents to sign and send in copies of the petition.”
To get a copy of the petition visit https://www.normmillermpp.ca/petitions/ and then click Download Petition to print the formatted version.