The Malta Independent 18 September 2019, Wednesday

NGO requests criminal probe into VGH hospitals deal

Monday, 13 May 2019, 15:26 Last update: about 5 months ago

An NGO today filed a court application requesting a magisterial inquiry into a public private partnership entered into by the government with a the company Vitals Global Healthcare for the administration of three of Malta’s hospitals.

In a statement, the NGO Repubblika said that in its application it had shown how ministers Edward Scicluna, Chris Cardona and Konrad Mizzi had given the group of investors behind VGH an unfair advantage in the contract’s selection process.

The fact that the company had no prior experience in healthcare and “guzzled up millions in public funds which nobody has any account of” made the ministers’ behaviour suggestive of “corruption and money laundering, among other crimes”, the NGO said.

Repubblika said that despite there being abundant evidence of wrongdoing, the country’s institutions had not done their job and had taken no action about “serious suspicions of corruption and money laundering”.

It said it had requested an inquiry to preserve evidence, in the absence of any investigation by the police, adding that the fact that it had decided to go request an inquiry itself didn’t absolve the police of their responsibility to investigate.

Back in 2015, the company Vitals Global Healthcare (VGH) was granted a concession by the government for it to run Karin Grech, St Luke’s and the Gozo General hospitals.

In February 2018 the concession was transferred to Steward Health Careafter VGH had failed to meet a number of contractual milestones related to the development of the hospitals.

In it’s 153-page application, Repubblika said that it had outlined all the “publicly known facts about the 99-year deal worth €7 billion through which a company with no experience entrusted with the running of three public hospitals”.

 

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