Hospice Muskoka has gained more local support in its bid for provincial funding.
During their most recent meeting, Gravenhurst council passed a resolution supporting Hospice Muskoka’s bid for sustainable provincial funding. Gravenhurst now joins several Muskoka municipalities who have agreed to send a letter to Queen’s Park supporting Hospice Muskoka’s request for funding
Council heard from Hospice Muskoka that they currently have ongoing Provincial funding for only 3 of the 10 beds available at the Andy’s House palliative care facility in Port Carling. The Province of Ontario provides funding for the three beds at the rate of $287/day/bed. Through a short-term funding agreement with the Province, this rate has been temporarily increased to $416/day/bed, council heard.
Also on a temporary basis, Hospice Muskoka has received funding for five additional beds through an agreement with Muskoka Algonquin Health Care (MAHC) at the same daily rate of $416/day/bed. Unfortunately, both Agreements are set to expire on March 31, 2024, and Hospice Muskoka will be left with funding for only 3 beds at a rate of $287/day/bed. “Unfortunately, this is not a sustainable level of funding for hospice operations as this level of funding is not adequate to meet the needs of those who are dying in our communities,” said Donna Kearney of Hospice Muskoka in her report to council.
Since April 1, 2023, the occupancy rate for the eight beds at Andy’s House has been consistently over 90% and sometimes as high as 103%.
“The services are provided with great skill and professionalism at a per-bed cost that is approximately 1/3 of the cost of a hospital bed,” said Kearney. “Since the partnership with MAHC was established to open the five additional beds 167 people have died at Andy’s House instead of dying at hospital. That represents a substantial cost savings for MAHC while freeing up acute care beds for those who need other acute curative treatments.”
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