Ten healthcare agencies in the Muskoka area have teamed up and applied to become the first health organization for all of Muskoka.

The group submitted a readiness assessment plan to the province for consideration last week in response to the government’s changes to the local health integration networks.

Dr. David Mathies said in a release on Tuesday that by teaming up, they will be able to provide better health care coverage. “We will build on existing strengths and partnerships and grow quickly to provide seamless care for patients. We believe we are excellent candidates and are looking forward to this process as it develops.”

Parry-Sound-Muskoka MPP Norm Miller said it’s a move in the right direction. “I am pleased to see healthcare providers in Parry Sound-Muskoka coming together to apply to be an Ontario Health Team. Many of our healthcare professionals already work together collaboratively, so I believe our region is well positioned to lead the move towards patient-centred care.”

Government officials are expected to arrive in Muskoka next month to conduct an assessment of their own before making any decisions on the submission by the health team.