Indo-Canadian Hospital Executive Who Oversaw $400 Million Redevelopment Fired Amidst Irregularities

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Senior Markham Stouffville Hospital executive Suman Bahl, who oversaw its massive redevelopment, was fired after an insider blew whistle on irregularities with sub contracts. Among the allegations that the auditors are examining are that a flooring contract was awarded to companies linked to Bahl’s husband.

TORONTO – An senior Indo-Canadian executive at the Markham Stouffville Hospital, who oversaw its massive redevelopment, has been terminated, even before a probe into the project is completed.

The hospital placed Suman Bahl on leave on Sept. 17 and hired Deloitte to audit the financing and procurement for its $400-million construction project.

On Monday, employees were told Bahl is no longer employed at Markham Stouffville, effective immediately. Hospital spokeswoman Lisa Joyce confirmed Bahl has been terminated from Markham Stouffville, reported Globe and Mail newspaper.

“This has been a difficult time for all those involved, and I can assure you that these decisions were not taken lightly,” chief executive officer Jo-anne Marr said in a brief message to employees.

Markham Stouffville hired forensic auditors from Deloitte in September, after The Globe and Mail reported on internal investigations at St. Michael’s Hospital and St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Toronto.

Joyce said earlier Markham Stouffville launched its probe because Vas Georgiou, a senior executive at St. Michael’s ‎who is the subject of that hospital’s internal probe, was involved in Markham Stouffville’s expansion while he worked at Infrastructure Ontario.

Georgiou’s lawyer, Gavin Tighe, told the Globe his client had no involvement in the Deloitte inquiry or in any decision regarding Bahl’s employment.

“The whistleblower has made a number of allegations that are now being investigated by Deloitte,” Marr said.

The Globe has learned that among the matters the auditors are examining are allegations that a flooring contract was awarded to companies linked to Bahl’s husband.

Bahl was not available for comment on Monday.

Bahl has a career spanning more than two decades working on hospital redevelopment projects and managing the facilities. In October, 2007, she joined Markham Stouffville, where she was most recently vice-president of capital development and corporate services.

At Markham Stouffville, Ms. Bahl presided over the hospital’s redevelopment project, completed in 2014. A four-storey addition and renovation doubled the size of the hospital, which serves the fast-growing communities of Markham and Stouffville north of Toronto.

Two employees who reported to Bahl also followed her out the door: Dharma Lakshman, director of facilities and support services, and Doug Wilson, project manager, redevelopment.

Wilson worked with Ms. Bahl at both St. Joseph’s and the Hospital for Sick Children.

Courtesy Globe and Mail