Friday, July 19, 2024

Ontario appoints supervisor to oversee Renfrew Victoria Hospital amid claims of financial irregularities

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New information has surfaced regarding the province appointing a supervisor to oversee Renfrew Victoria Hospital (RVH).

A community group of concerned citizens are claiming to be the ones who found financial irregularities within the hospital, sparking an investigation by the Ministry of Health and Ontario Health.

The group — wishing to remain anonymous — provided CTV News Ottawa with documents on Friday that allege millions of dollars were transferred from RVH to Renfrew Health, which is a separate entity run out of the hospital. An excerpt of minutes from a 2021 board of directors meeting shows the hospital’s intent to transfer large sums of money from its budget surplus to Renfrew Health.

The group alleges that $6.59 million dollars was transferred between 2019 and 2022. When they approached Ontario Health with their findings, they say the document was scrubbed from the RVH website.

“It was reported by RVH that for the 2021 fiscal year $1,760,000 was transferred to Renfrew Health,” the group wrote in correspondence with CTV News.

CTV News has not been able to verify the claim. On Friday, the hospital site’s “Board Minutes” section was blank.

After repeated calls to Ontario Health, the group says it took a letter containing serious allegations of financial mismanagement to get the investigation launched.

“One may conclude the funds were spent partially or wholly on additional remuneration to Hospital management or employees to understate amounts included on the Ontario Sunshine list,” the letter reads in part.

The Ministry of health announced a supervisor to take over hospital operations on Thursday after discovering what they are calling “concerning financial practices.” On Friday, the ministry, while they could not go into detail over the investigations at RVH, told CTV News it is a “very serious situation.”

CTV News reached out to RVH regarding allocation of funds transferred to Renfrew Health, but they declined to comment.

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