Province appoints supervisor to oversee Renfrew hospital amid financial concerns

The Ontario government has appointed a supervisor to oversee the operations of Renfrew Victoria Hospital following a review that uncovered "concerning financial practices."

In a news release Thursday, the Ministry of Health announced that Altaf Stationwala had been appointed to the role to "strengthen [the hospital's] governance, accountability, and ability to deliver the best possible care to Ontarians."

Stationwala will work closely with the hospital's CEO, board of directors and staff to address "concerns regarding hospital governance and management practices," the ministry said.

Those concerns, the ministry said, include "financial issues identified during a review by Ontario Health and an independent third party."

Both the Ministry of Health and Ontario Health are set to receive regular updates from Stationwala. Those will culminate into a final report aimed at improving the situation at the hospital about 90 kilometres west of downtown Ottawa, the province.

The ministry told CBC it would not comment further on the news release, which did not specify the nature of the financial issues.

Patient care not affected, says hospital

The Renfrew hospital provides surgical, medical, and complex continuing care services. Its out-patient program handles over 30,000 emergency and clinic visits annually.

In a statement, a hospital spokesperson said Stationwala's appointment was not a reflection on the "exceptional patient care" provided by their doctors, nurses and staff and would not affect the delivery of that care.

The Ontario Public Hospitals Act, which set out the framework for the operation of most hospitals in the province, says the minister may recommend to the lieutenant-governor to appoint a hospital supervisor if it's considered "in the public interest."