Norm Miller MPP Parry Sound - Muskoka

Miller Highlights Local Healthcare Leaders’ Support for Bill 74

April 17th, 2019

Thanks Minister Elliott for supporting redevelopment of both Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare hospitals

QUEEN’S PARK, TORONTO: Healthcare leaders in Parry Sound-Muskoka have told MPP Norman Miller that Bill 74 is a good step towards creating integrated healthcare.

Miller took time during the debate on Bill 74, the People’s Healthcare Act to highlight that support from local healthcare leaders and to thank the Minister of Health for ensuring that the redevelopment of both the Huntsville and Bracebridge sites of Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare was in the budget.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank the Minister of Health for listening to the people of Muskoka and Almaguin. Page 116 of this year’s budget lists hospital projects in the construction or planning stages,” said Miller. “It includes redevelopment plans for both Bracebridge’s and Huntsville’s hospitals. This will come as a relief for many in Muskoka who know that timely access to their hospitals will save lives. I’m very pleased to see their voices have been heard.”

Miller went on to describe some of the challenges his constituents have faced in accessing the care they needed and situations where the patients have fallen through the cracks in the existing system. “Without a doubt, this system can and should be improved. Ontario’s patients shouldn’t have to wait any longer,” said Miller.

Miller spoke about a meeting he and Christine Elliott, Minister of Health and Long Term Care, had with members of the Muskoka and Area Health Transformation council as well as other healthcare leaders from Parry Sound-Muskoka on March 11, 2019 in Bracebridge.

“I was very pleased to have an opportunity to sit down with Minister Elliott and health care leaders from across my riding in March. Doctors, mental health workers, nurses, administrators and patients were all represented, and the tone of the meeting was overwhelmingly positive,” said Miller.

“Phil Matthews, who is the chair of the board of directors for Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare, heralded Bill 74 as ‘exactly the type of legislation they’ve been looking for,’ and described it as dovetailing exactly with the work they’ve been doing to create integrated care in their communities.”

Miller went on to tell the Legislature that Natalie Bubela, CEO of MAHC, told the meeting that MAHC would be submitting “a collaborative application for an Ontario health team modelled around primary care that builds up the exceptional work previously done by the Muskoka and Area Health System Transformation group.”

Finally, Miller quoted Donald Sanderson, CEO of the West Parry Sound Health Centre who said, “We see great opportunity in your vision for health care transformation. We are proud to say that Bill 74 describes the community-based relationships that already involve West Parry Sound Health Centre and our care partners. This legislation will enable us to create even stronger partnerships with patients and families at the centre of our care.”

“Mr. Speaker, I have great respect for these individuals and all healthcare providers in Parry Sound–Muskoka. I trust these people, and they are saying that we are headed in the right direction,” said Miller. “And I’m proud to say that I’m here today in support of Minister Elliott’s vision.”