The Town of Bracebridge has become the latest municipality to publicly voice its concerns over a lack of funding for Hospice Muskoka.
During the latest Bracebridge general committee meeting Coun. Steve Clement put forward a motion that includes, among other things, direction for the mayor to write both the Premier of Ontario and the Minister of Health urging them to support Hospice Muskoka on a priority basis.
Last year Bracebridge ratified a motion to support a funding proposal to the Ministry of Health for five palliative respite beds at Andy’s House – a palliative care facility run by Hospice Muskoka in Port Carling and serving all of south Muskoka. However, that request for funding was denied by the province.
The latest motion received strong support from the committee.
“I can tell you on a personal level that there aren’t enough beds,” said Coun. Rick Wilson. He explained that one of his home family members could not get into Andy’s House, as they had wished, because they’re simply aren’t enough beds currently.
Coun. Don Smith said there is significant concern in the community about the operation of Andy’s House and he is regularly stopped on the street and questioned about its status.
“This serves all of south Muskoka and it’s a situation where people are puzzled as to why we don’t have the support to keep those beds operating,” he said.
The motion points out that the Muskoka region has 8.5% more seniors over the age of 65 than the provincial average, making the service of particular importance to the area.
The District of Muskoka council passed a similar motion recently and also agreed to press the issue during a delegation with the Minister of Health during the Association of Municipalities of Ontario conference being held next month.
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