The Malta Independent 19 December 2018, Wednesday

Steward management changes: New hospital owners did not have faith in people appointed by VGH

Kevin Schembri Orland Wednesday, 7 March 2018, 11:47 Last update: about 11 months ago

The change of some top management posts in Steward Healthcare came about as the company did not have faith in those persons who previously occupied these positions, sources told The Malta Independent.

Yesterday, this newsroom sent questions to Health Minister Chris Fearne asking him about the posts seeing people being replaced. In response, he had confirmed that steward is in the process of changing some top management people in positions in Malta.  Fearne, responding to questions by this newsroom, said that these are non-clinical managers employed by VGH. “No clinicians, or staff employed in the hospitals are being affected.”

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Sources now have said that the reason behind these changes are not financial, but rather regard the company not having faith in the previous holders of the posts.

This newsroom also sent questions to a Steward Healthcare representative, asking them to confirm whether they have laid off some staff, and to reveal what positions these people were in and the number of persons laid off. They were also asked if there are plans for any further staff to be let go, and if yes, from what departments.

"As a physician led organization, Steward is focused above all else on delivering high quality care for patients. With a proven track record of turning around hospitals and improving care for people in cities and towns across ten U.S. states, we are confident that we can deliver world class care in Malta. Making progress will require that we also make some difficult decisions and today we decided to realign and streamline our corporate staff to shift resources to where they matter most: to upgrading and improving services within our hospitals,” a Steward Healthcare representative said.

"Our medical professionals on the front lines are our strongest asset, and we will be supporting our doctors, nurses, administrators, and allied healthcare staff by making additional resources available. This will come in the form of improved technology, upgrades to our facilities, and further investments in education and training."

"Steward has earned top awards for quality and safety in the U.S. by focusing on innovation and a strong community commitment. We look forward to continuing our critical mission of enhancing the quality of life in Malta."

Stewards Healthcare recently took over control of Karin Grech Hospital, St Luke’s Hospital and the Gozo General Hospital, from Vitals Global Healthcare. The deal spurred quite a controversy given that VGH itself did not have a track record in running hospitals, with the Opposition heavily criticising the whole situation.  Now Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi was the health minister when the original VGH deal was struck. Concerns regarding the ownership of VGH had caused issues from the start, as did questions surrounding the then Director Ram Tumuluri.

Sources within the healthcare industry had told The Malta Independent that VGH sold its 30-year concession for the three state hospitals and Barts Medical School after experiencing significant financial difficulty, despite of repeated

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