The Malta Independent 5 December 2023, Tuesday
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Prime Minister writes to Auditor General to investigate money paid to Steward Health Care

Friday, 17 March 2023, 17:49 Last update: about 10 months ago

Prime Minister Robert Abela wrote to the Auditor General to request an investigation into the money which was transferred to Steward Health Care in connection with the now-annulled hospitals deal.

Abela had stated that he would do this during Thursday’s heated parliamentary debate.

The Prime Minister requested an investigation by the Auditor General, through a letter referring to a mandate given by the Parliament to "take all necessary actions to recover those payments that were affected, and for which it is found that they did not receive their value in medical services and related services and investment."


Abela wrote to Auditor General Charles Deguara, referring to two reports which have already been published by his office and a third which is still to be published.

He explained to Deguara that Parliament had given him the mandate to write to him to inquire about the Opposition's allegation that the Maltese Government made payments to VGH and Steward as part of the hospital concession, without VGH or Steward providing the respective medical services, related services, and investment in turn.

Abela also referred to the loan which Steward took out from Bank of Valletta, stating that the contract involved the Maltese government, and where it was alleged by the Opposition that Steward took this loan out and disappeared with the money without building or addressing the Barts/QMUL building in Gozo, and without them making the loan repayments.

“The Opposition has now mentioned a figure of €400 million as the payment made by the Government to the concessionaires, for which the equivalent value in medical services, related services, and investment was not received,” Abela wrote.

He said that the government, as per the mandate of the motion which passed through Parliament on Thursday, will be taking all the necessary action to recover any payments effected and which it results to the Auditor General that the necessary value from them was not obtained.

He also informed Deguara that the Tax Commissioner has already taken action to recover the tax arrears owed by Steward, and there is pending legal contestation before the Courts.

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