The Malta Independent 10 April 2020, Friday

All Maltese and Gozitans are losing €400 a year because of hospitals deal – Adrian Delia

Albert Galea Monday, 24 February 2020, 16:19 Last update: about 3 months ago

All Maltese and Gozitans are losing €400 every year, and have been doing so for the past six years, as a result of the deal that the government struck with Vitals Global Healthcare and now Steward Healthcare for the operation of three hospitals, PN leader Adrian Delia said on Monday.

Speaking in a press conference, Delia once again called for the government to put an immediate stop to the controversial contract which, he says, has robbed the Maltese taxpayer some €240 million in the last six years.

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He noted that for every day that passes, more and more money is being handed to private companies with the Maltese seeing absolutely no return on the part of these companies.

Delia made the same plea on Saturday, saying that the government should have the courage to tear up the contract between them and Steward Healthcare.

Millions of euros were supposed to have been invested by Steward in the three hospitals which form part of the contract – Gozo, Karin Grech and St Luke’s – Delia lamented, but pointed out recent footage taken by NET TV journalists showing the state of disrepair at the latter hospital.

He said that not a single euro had been spent in the Gozo Hospital, and Karin Grech Hospital had only seen some cosmetic plastering and painting being done.

 

Delia said that Prime Minister Robert Abela had found himself in the middle of a division within the government.  Former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, he said, has ended up representing the foreign company and is asking for the government to give them even more money, while Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne was realising that Steward were not the real deal.

Abela however, Delia noted, in spite of being faced with mounting evidence from across the board which shows that the project was “made to fail” and that Steward were not meeting their end of the deal, had done nothing.

He said that while the Maltese people have been robbed of €2,400 each in the last six years, equivalent to €400 a year, the Finance Ministry saw fit to give everyone a cheque of €15. “They are taking €400 a year, and giving you €15 back”, he said.

He said that had this money gone to the mental health sector, it wouldn’t take years for the facilities to be refurbished and upgraded so that every patient can get what they deserve.  He noted that had the money gone to every patient with Type 1 Diabetes, they could all have continuous glucose monitors.  He said that had the money gone to social housing, then there wouldn’t be a single person without a roof over their heads.

He said that Joseph Muscat, Konrad Mizzi, and Edward Scicluna are directly responsible for the contract.  “They knew the details, they were involved in the negotiations, and they are directly responsible”, he said.

He said that the government should not only stop this contract, but also investigate the involvement of these three members of the government, and into how they had signed an MOU with VGH before the public call for the project had even come out. 

Delia also spoke of how the Cabinet had, on the request of Konrad Mizzi, approved the waiving of a €9 million bank guarantee from Steward Healthcare, saying that they had robbed the Maltese people

Delia said that with every day that passes, the Maltese taxpayer continues to be robbed. He called for the contract to be stopped immediately.

 

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