Muskoka To-DAILY

Huntsville hospital backup power change April 9 means minor service changes in daytime hours

HUNTSVILLE A power changeover next week for the new CT Scanner coming this spring to HuntsvilleDistrictMemorialHospital means business almost as usual.

But not quite. Urgent care will still take place, but some services will be provided at the MAHC’s BracebridgeSouthMuskokaMemorialHospital during the day.

It will not impact any patients who are staying in the hospital.

Officials say that on Wednesday, April 9, Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare’s site will experience a planned eight-hour outage of the emergency back-up power system. The outage is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. and end by 5 p.m.

During this time we will be installing two new transformers that will not only support the new CT Scanner that is being installed this spring, but it will also create redundancy in our back-up electrical system and the additional capacity to support new and future critical equipment on emergency power. 

We have taken extensive steps to ensure the comfort and safety of our current patients and mitigate any risks, MAHC says in a news release.

During the outage, there will be no surgeries, or ambulatory or outpatient procedures. Ambulances will bypass the Emergency Department, which will have the capacity to operate as an urgent care centre only. Other facilities, including the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital Site in Bracebridge, will be used for obstetrical deliveries on April 8 and 9.

“An outage of this magnitude has significant impacts on the hospital and patient care and ultimately the community,” explains Harold Featherston, chief executive of diagnostics, ambulatory and planning.  “We are communicating extensively with our current patients and their families, our partners and stakeholders in the community and members of the public. Our management teams and our staff continue to work diligently to develop and test comprehensive plans to internally mitigate and address the variety of impacts posed by the outage.”

These impacts include, but are not limited to, clinical services and equipment, infrastructure like heating and cooling and lighting, and a variety of electronic networking capabilities.

“We appreciate your understanding that we will be discouraging visiting during this period of time,” Featherston adds. “It is also important to advise that the SMMH site will be heavily supporting the HDMH site on outage day, which will create increased activity and volumes in Bracebridge.”

Should you require treatment or care, we are encouraging you to visit your family doctor or primary care provider if possible. During the outage our staff will be focused on providing safe, quality care to our current patients.

As the elevators will not be operable, the hospital will not be accessible to visitors and other individuals in wheelchairs or those with mobility challenges. A dedicated stairwell will be used as the access point between floors and will be staffed with volunteers for assistance .Should you need to come to the hospital, signage will direct you through the Business Office entrance where payments will continue to be accepted, excluding debit or credit card due to the outage.

While it is an unlikely event that normal power is impacted on outage day, we must advise that should this be the case, the hospital may be evacuated. If there is a threat to normal power, we have chosen the alternate date of Wednesday, April 16.

“We are counting on Mother Nature to be on our side, so the outage can go ahead as planned,” Featherston says. “This project has taken a tremendous amount of work to properly understand and address all of the potential impacts and we would like to thank our long list of partners for their support leading up to and during the outage.”

Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare apologizes for the inconvenience this causes and appreciates your support and understanding during this time.

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