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Wilson launches petition for local hospice funding

Posted April 28, 2014

As Matthews House prepares to fundraise to build a 10-bed hospice in Alliston, Simcoe Grey MPP Jim Wilson this morning launched a petition asking the provincial government to " immediately develop a comprehensive strategy to deal with hospice funding to ensure that people in South Simcoe and all Ontarians receive equal access to end of life care."

Matthews House only receives $38,000 in funding from the province, while proposed hospice beds in York Region have been receiving $98,000 per bed even though they're not available yet.

Mr. Wilson's petition, which is posted on his web site, notes that "Matthews House Hospice is the lowest funded hospice in the Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) and among the lowest funded in the province, even though it serves as many clients or more than other hospices that receive greater provincial support;" and, "Matthews House has been told by the Central LHIN that LHINs do not fund residential hospice operational costs and yet Hospices in other LHINs, including Barrie, Huntsville, Richmond Hill, Owen Sound and now Collingwood all receive operational funding from the province;" and, "in February 2010 Matthews House Hospice was promised a solution to its underfunding by the Central LHIN which has never materialized."

Matthews operates a residential day program on Hwy 89 across from the Nottawasaga Resort, and last year, started renting two housing units at the Kingsmere development, offering four beds - two in each. New Tecumseth council approved $20,000 in the 2014 budget to help cover the rent on one of the two units.

In February, Matthews House announced it had purchased the vacant lot (132 x 330 ft lot)  at 131 Wellington St. E, in Alliston that was previously the public works depot. The organization anticipates a two-year fundraising campaign for the estimated $4 million cost of construction.

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