Burk’s Falls is fighting to keep existing health services

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The efforts of the Village of Burk’s Falls to ensure the indefinite continuity of services at the Almaguin Highlands Health Center are gaining popularity in the Highlands.

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Several city councils responded favorably to Burk’s Falls’ request, including Armour, South River, Strong and Sundridge.

Muskoka-Algonquin Health Care (MAHC) provides services at Burk’s Falls Health Center.

X-rays, lab tests, and post-operative physiotherapy are some of the services MAHC offers at the health center.

Burk’s Falls City Council says that for years the local health center provided the space for services at no cost to MAHC, but in doing so the health center suffered an annual operating deficit.

The Board notes that over the past 10 years, various levels of management at MAHC have spoken of discontinuing services at the Burk’s Falls Health Center or reducing the center’s hours of operation.

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In an effort to end these talks, Burk’s Falls is asking that MAHC commit to continuing current services at the health center indefinitely.

The city council has the numbers to back up the claim that the health center’s current services are heavily utilized by local and Almaguin area residents.

In 2021, he looked at a 19-week period and found that an average of 43 people per day used the health center’s X-ray and laboratory services.

Earlier this year it calculated the number of patients who used X-ray and laboratory services over a 12-week period and found that the average remained at 43 people per day.

The council says the services play a vital role in helping to maintain the health of residents in the Almaguin area.

Sundridge County Almaguin Highlands Health Council member Barbara Belrose spoke to her council colleagues about the importance of supporting the Burk’s Falls resolution.

“They’re struggling to keep the blood lab down,” Belrose told the council.

“Losing the blood lab will be a disaster.”

Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works at the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

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