An important memorandum of understanding paving the way for the giving of Maltese public hospitals to foreign investors cannot be found, Prime Minister Robert Abela has admitted.
The controversial MoU led to a concession deal where local hospitals were transferred to Vitals Global Healthcare. The National Audit Office has found that this MoU, as well as other evidence, showed there was “collusion” ahead of the deal, rendering the entire process “dubious”.
However, the document itself seemingly still cannot be found by the government after General Auditor Charles Deguara said that it couldn’t be located during an investigation into the hospitals deal.
“I immediately asked for a copy of this document, but I was informed that the document could not be found,” Abela said on Friday.
VGH had been granted a controversial concession for the Gozo General Hospital, St Luke’s Hospital and Karin Grech Rehabilitation Hospital.
The company was forced to sell off their operations just 21 months after starting amid growing financial debt, which stood at €36 million by the end of 2017. Its CEO, Ram Tumuluri, reportedly still made off with a €5 million bonus.
Another company, Steward Healthcare was then brought in to take over the concession and given assurances by former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and former Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi on the deal when taking over.
It has also been revealed that Malta will need to pay a €100 million should the concession ever be rescinded.
Former minister Konrad Mizzi has recently said that he had nothing to do with the signing of the MoU, insisting he had no access to the document. He called on the government to publish the MoU, saying it was the Economy Ministry, then headed by Chris Cardona, and Malta Enterprise who handled it.