Chief Medical Officer of Health Statement on Ensuring Accountability at Algoma Health Unit
Today, Dr. Arlene King, Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, issued the following statement on accountability at the Algoma Public Health Unit:
"The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care was recently notified that there has been an alleged misuse of funds by a former employee of the Algoma Health Unit.
The Chair of the District of Algoma Board of Health commissioned a forensic audit which identified funds that may have been misspent. The majority of funding for local boards of health is provided by the ministry.
In response to the forensic audit's findings, the ministry notified the board of health of its intention to recover any misused funding, while also ensuring that the health unit is able to deliver necessary services. The ministry has further requested that the board of health provide details as to what additional measures have been or will be put in place to prevent any misuse of public funds.
Additionally, the ministry has ordered that an independent audit be conducted, starting today, by the Ontario Internal Audit Division to assess operational, financial and related oversight processes at the board of health. This audit will help to ensure that provincial funds are used only in compliance with the Accountability Agreement between the board of health and the ministry.
The matter has been referred to the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service, who are investigating this matter
In addition to these actions, my office has written to all boards of health to affirm their responsibility to comply with all terms and conditions of provincial grant funding and ensure that there is accountability for the appropriate use of public funds.
Our primary interest is ensuring all public health programs and services continue to be delivered to residents served by the Algoma Board of Health."