Every Maltese household could have received €2,400 if the government hadn’t entered into a hospital privatisation deal with Vitals Global Healthcare, PN leader Adrian Delia has said.
“[Finance Minister] Edward Scicluna recently gave people €15 cheques,” Delia said, referring to the bread and milk bonus. “However, he could have given people €15 a day if he had saved money from that contract. He could have given every Maltese household €2,400 over six years, €400 every year. The government is robbing you of €400 a year and giving you €15 back.”
Delia delivered a scathing assessment of the contract, which was originally granted to Vitals in 2015 on condition that it upgrades the St Luke’s, Karin Grech and Gozo hospitals. After running into financial difficulties, Vitals in 2018 sold the contract to US healthcare giant Steward.
The PN leader hit out at former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat in the wake of a MaltaToday report that he has lobbied his successor Robert Abela to renegotiate the contract with better financial terms for Steward.
“Joseph Muscat is appearing on behalf of foreigners who are robbing us of millions, who were contracted to rob us of millions six years and are still robbing us today. Muscat now wants us to pay Steward more millions for a dirty contract that was solely intended for us to get fleeced by foreigners.”
Delia gave a breakdown of the estimated €240 million given by the government to Vitals and Steward so far, money which is over and above the recurrent costs for hospital operations.
“If that money was spent on mental health, we wouldn’t have spent years waiting for necessary services and facilities, if it was spent on diabetes, all Type 1 Diabetes patients would have had continuous glucose monitors, it it was spent on more free cancer medication, we’d have saved more lives.”
“If it was spent on social housing, not a single person would be homeless. If it was spent on fighting poverty, there wouldn’t be so many people on the poverty line, it it was used to give free PrEP to the LGBT+ community, they would all have it. If it was spent on the police, maybe the police wouldn’t be in the pitiful state it is currently in, and if it was spent on incentivising businesses, maybe we’d have attracted clean businesses and not those who only come here to launder their money.”
He urged Abela to scrap the contract immediately, warning that with every passing day, he is himself becoming more complicit in “the greatest robbery in Maltese history”.