The Malta Independent 3 March 2024, Sunday
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PN files motion for Parliament to condemn hospitals deal and for PM to recover money paid to Steward

Albert Galea Wednesday, 8 March 2023, 18:35 Last update: about 13 months ago

The Nationalist Party has tabled a motion for Parliament to condemn the now annulled deal which saw three hospitals sold by concession to Vitals Global Healthcare and then Steward Health Care and to oblige the Prime Minister to take any action necessary to recover what was paid to the concessionaires.

The motion was signed by PN leader Bernard Grech and former PN leader and current MP Adrian Delia, who had filed the court case which annulled the deal back when he led the party.

It was tabled in Parliament on Tuesday and will be debated on Thursday 16 March, where the Opposition will be seeking a vote.

Last month, a court ruled that three hospitals that were being managed by Steward Health Care are to be returned to government control.

Former Opposition Leader Adrian Delia won the court case against the 99-year emphyteutical concession agreement awarded to Vitals Global Healthcare, which was then taken over by Steward, on 24 February.

The court nullified all three contracts awarded in a damning ruling which suggested that there had been "fraudulent and possibly criminal behaviour" in the matter.

The hospitals involved in the agreement were, St Luke's, Karin Grech and Gozo General Hospital.

The Opposition noted in its motion, after quoting snippets of the judgement, that the government has said that it will not appeal the ruling “and therefore has accepted the court’s decision in its entirety and without any reservation.”

The PN also said that between 2016 and 2023 the government has paid over 400 million to Steward as part of the concession, despite the concessionaire not having stuck to any of its obligations.

With this in mind, the PN called on Parliament to “condemn the granting of St Luke’s Hospital, Karin Grech Hospital and the Gozo General Hospital to Steward Malta Assets Limited, which was Vitals Global Healthcare Assets Limited and/or any of their subsidiaries.”

Further, the PN is also calling on Parliament to “insist that the Prime Minister should immediately take all the action necessary, including but not limited to legal proceedings, so that the Maltese government can recover any amount in taxpayer’s money” which was paid to Steward or Vitals or any of their subsidiaries.

In a statement on his Facebook page, PN leader Bernard Grech said that he hoped that Robert Abela and other Labour MPs would support the motion and “start supporting the Maltese and Gozitan people and commit themselves to getting the money which was stolen from the people back.”

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