Prime Minister Robert Abela has insisted that it would be taking legal action against Steward Health Care over any breach of the conditions of the concession contract through which the US company runs three of Malta’s public hospitals.
“Our main message to Steward is that there are contractual obligations they must abide by. We are insisting that those obligations are followed and the government will take legal measures to ensure they are adhered to,” Abela told journalists this afternoon.
According to an agreement hammered out by former Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi and the company in August 2019, should the concession agreement be terminated, the government would be liable to pay Steward €100 million.
MaltaToday cited sources over the weekend saying that despite the agreement, the government would refuse to pay up.
“Regarding the €100 million clause, the government will be doing all that is legally possible so that if Steward chooses to leave the concession we will not have to pay that money,” Abela said.
Upon being appointed Prime Minister, Abela pledged to set up a working group tasked with plotting a way forward for the controversial concession.
Steward took over the concession for the running of three of Malta’s public hospitals in February 2018, after the original concessionaires, Vitals Global Healthcare failed to meet the targets laid out by the agreement.
The agreement is also the subject of a court case instituted by former PN leader Adrian Delia, calling on the courts to cancel the contract.
Earlier this month, former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat was revealed to have received €60,000 from a Switzerland-based company that first received €3.6 million from Steward Health Care.
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